Major League Baseball

Orioles seek series split with Blue Jays

MLB1BLUE JAYS (45-68) AT ORIOLES (37-73)
1:05 p.m. ET; MASN, SN, TVAS, OMNI, MLB.TV

The Baltimore Orioles (+1.5) give up more home runs than any other team in the major leagues.

They allowed two more to the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (-1.5) on Saturday night — for a season total of 216 — but they had two of their own and went on for a 6-4 victory.

The Orioles have a chance to split their four-game series by winning the finale Sunday afternoon after ending the Blue Jays’ five-game winning streak.

The Orioles, who are 16-38 at home this season, will use right-hander Tom Eshelman (0-2, 6.35 ERA) behind opener Jimmy Yacabonis (1-2, 7.34) on Sunday against Blue Jays right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (1-1, 2.55).

“We give up a ton of home runs,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s pretty annoying. But it’s kind of where we are. We play in a hitter’s ballpark in the American League East, and when we don’t throw — a lot of times, we just don’t execute very well.”

The Orioles hope the execution of pitches will come eventually

“We’re not there yet,” Hyde said. “A lot of our guys are still trying to survive, getting their feet wet, surviving in the major leagues. That’s why I think you see certain guys improving and certain guys still having a high ERA, because it’s not easy to do.”

The Orioles have allowed 123 home runs at home.

“What’s disappointing to me is that I feel like we play so much better on the road,” Hyde said. “I don’t know why. I feel like we take better at-bats on the road. … We’re more competitive on the road in a lot of ways, and we just haven’t played well at home, for whatever reason.”

Eshelman will be making his sixth career major league outing Sunday, and his fifth start. He has not faced the Blue Jays.

Reid-Foley will make his fourth start of the season. He allowed five runs (three earned), four hits and two walks over two innings in his only career start against Baltimore on April 1, a 6-5 loss.

The Blue Jays have been hitting home runs at a rapid rate. They lead the majors with 83 homers since June 16.

The immediate concern is pitching, with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Joe Biagini, Daniel Hudson and David Phelps having been traded recently.

Toronto put Nick Kingham on the injured list with an oblique strain Saturday after the right-hander tossed three scoreless innings on Friday, and called up Yennsy Diaz from Double-A New Hampshire.

Diaz is 8-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) with New Hampshire this season. He will pitch from the bullpen before a decision will be made about possible starts.

“He was the best option for us to give us length, the way our bullpen is now,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I will tell you more about it after I see him pitch, because I haven’t seen him since spring training. We all know he is a good arm.”

The Blue Jays hope closer Ken Giles could be ready to return from right elbow inflammation for the game Sunday.

Outfielder Randal Grichuk, who took a foul ball off his mouth Thursday, returned as designated hitter Saturday and was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Derek Fisher, obtained in a trade with the Houston Astros on Wednesday, started in right field Saturday but left the game in the first inning with a contusion after being hit in the face trying to catch Trey Mancini‘s routine fly ball.

–Field Level Media

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