Amid extreme flooding from Hurricane Harvey in downtown Houston, Montreal officials contacted Major League Baseball and offered to host the Houston Astros this week, prior to the series with the Texas Rangers being moved to Tropicana Field, Jon Morosi reports.
Olympic Stadium, the host of an exhibition series involving the Toronto Blue Jays for the past four years, was most recently used for baseball on March 31st and April 1st, when the Blue Jays played the Pittsburgh Pirates just prior to the start of the regular season.
With the Astros returning to Houston for their weekend series against the New York Mets, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that the games played would help the city return to a “normal life.”
“We feel that the Astros playing this weekend will provide a much-needed boost for our city,” said Turner in a written statement recounted by USA Today.. “With all of the difficulties that many of our citizens are facing, the games will provide an opportunity for families to start returning to some aspect of normal life.”
The Blue Jays’ series in Montreal earlier this year averaged 47,691 fans per game.
The Blue Jays will recall Michael Saunders, Teoscar Hernandez and Carlos Ramirez, among others, in their first wave of September call-ups later Friday. Richard Urena and Luke Maile round out the group of five that are expected to join the major-league roster prior to Friday night’s game.
Carlos Ramirez, as a reliever in double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo, has yet to allow an earned run this season over 37.2 innings. Previously an outfielder, Ramirez transitioned into a pitching role three years ago. He was adamant about not wanting to be a pitcher, but given his recent success, that mindset has changed.
Luke Maile, returning from the disabled list, is expected to provide much needed depth to the black hole that is Toronto’s catching position.
Riding a career night from Kendrys Morales, the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-8 in a closer than ideal battle. Morales hit three home runs and collected seven RBI for the first time in his career while Marco Estrada allowed six earned runs (and still collected the win — can we retire that stat already?).
Joe Biagini, after allowing five earned runs in 3.2 outings on August 27th, will start for the Blue jays against Kevin Gausman and the Orioles. The game starts at 7:05 ET.
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