The Toronto Blue Jays very likely will miss the playoffs this season, and they are trying to prevent a division rival or two from making the postseason as well. The Blue Jays will attempt to play spoiler when they visit the wild card-hopeful Baltimore Orioles for the third contest of their four-game series on Saturday.
Toronto will play 15 more games against American League East playoff hopefuls Boston, New York and Baltimore after finishing the current series and also will meet wild-card challengers Minnesota and Kansas City down the stretch. The Blue Jays did their best in that role with a win on Thursday in the series opener but could not survive a battle of the bullpens a day later. The Orioles picked up their eighth win in nine games with a 1-0 triumph in 13 innings on Friday to move within 1 ½ games of the Twins in the race for the second AL wild-card spot. Baltimore, which is just 2 ½ games behind the Yankees for the first wild card, will send Wade Miley to the mound on Saturday opposite Marcus Stroman.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (11-6, 3.11 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Wade Miley (8-10, 4.99)
Stroman pitched well enough to win last time out, allowing two runs - one earned - and seven hits against Boston on Monday, but was stuck without a decision when the bullpen coughed up a lead. The Duke product yielded one home run in that start and three in his previous turn after surrendering a total of one over a 10-start stretch. Stroman began that stretch against Baltimore on June 28, when he scattered five hits and struck out eight over 7 ? scoreless innings.
Miley allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last six starts and earned a win at Boston on Sunday by holding the AL East leaders to one run and seven hits in five innings. The Louisiana native still is battling control issues and has yielded at least three walks in each of his last five outings. Miley walked four while going up against Stroman on June 28 and was charged with four runs - three earned - in five innings as he absorbed the loss.
1. Orioles 3B Manny Machado went 4-for-6 on Friday - his sixth multi-hit effort in nine games.
2. Baltimore SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) will remain on the 60-day disabled list after experiencing elbow discomfort during his rehab assignment.
3. Toronto 1B Justin Smoak (calf) was limited to pinch-hitting on Friday but is close to returning to the starting lineup.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 4, Orioles 2