Matt Harvey, Orioles eyes series win over Blue Jays

MLB Baseball

The Baltimore Orioles will be out to win a series against the Toronto Blue Jays for the first time this season on Wednesday night.

The host Orioles won the opener of the three-game series 7-5 Tuesday night to end a three-game losing streak. They improved their season record against Toronto to 3-5.

The Blue Jays are 38-18 against Baltimore since the start of the 2018 season.

The Orioles will start right-hander Matt Harvey (3-9, 7.34 ERA) on Wednesday. He is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays this season and 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA in three career starts vs. Toronto.

The Blue Jays will counter with left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (7-5, 3.65 ERA). He is 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA against Baltimore this season, 3-0 with 3.13 ERA in five career starts vs. the Orioles.

The Blue Jays continue to make moves to improve their biggest weakness, the bullpen.

Last week, they obtained right-hander Adam Cimber from the Miami Marlins. They made another trade on Tuesday, acquiring right-handers Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis, a minor-leaguer, from the Milwaukee Brewers for first baseman Rowdy Tellez.

Richards, 28, has been traded twice this season. The Tampa Bay Rays sent him to Milwaukee as part of a four-player deal on May 21. He made six relief appearances for the Rays and 15 for the Brewers, producing a combined record of 3-0 with one save and a 3.69 ERA. He has 41 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo did not know when Richards would join the team when he talked about him on Tuesday.

“He’s the right guy,” Montoyo said. “He’s a good guy. He’s a guy who does a good job. He did a good job for (the Rays) last year, and he was doing a good job for the Brewers, so I expect the same for us. He’s been in our division, so we’ve seen him. …

“We’re looking to improve our bullpen, so that’s a good move.”

The Orioles were pleased Tuesday with the performance of a recent addition to their pitching staff.

Spenser Watkins, 28, allowed one run on three hits in five innings to earn the win in his first career major league start. He struck out two and walked three.

“I thought he threw with no fear,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought he did a great job, especially in his first ever (start). We haven’t gone five innings very often, and so to see a starter go five innings was fantastic. So pleased with how he competed and stuff that he showed.”

Watkins signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason with Baltimore after seven seasons as a minor-leaguer with the Detroit Tigers, who made him a 30th-round draft pick from Division II Western Oregon in 2014.

Watkins made his major league debut Friday during Baltimore’s 4-6 road trip, pitching one perfect inning against the Los Angeles Angels.

The last time an Orioles starter pitched at least five innings and allowed one run or no runs was Keegan Akin on June 4. Akin pitched five scoreless innings that day but did not factor in the decision as Baltimore beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1.

Orioles starters had not completed five innings in the past eight games before Tuesday.

“Having that opportunity to be relied on, to go out and eat some innings, is a huge thing,” Watkins said.

–Field Level Media

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