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Game #12 Preview: Sanchez vs Cashner

Blue Jays (7-4) vs Orioles (4-7)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

After wining a pitcher’s-duel-turned-blowout last night, the Blue Jays and Orioles get back at it tonight at 7:05 ET for Game 2 of their 3 game series.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Aaron Sanchez makes his third start of the season for the Blue Jays. After walking 4 and striking out just 2 in his first start against the Yankees, Sanchez came back in his second start and earned a Quality Start.

In that game against the White Sox, Sanchez went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and pair of walks, striking out 7. He allowed a home run to Matt Davidson, the Major League Leader at that point. He left the game down 3-1 after 5.5 innings, but the Jays tied it up in the bottom half on a pair of RBI singles from Pearce and Morales. But the offense would do no more, while Ryan Tepera allowed a home run to Jose Abreu and the Jays lost 4-3.

Orioles’ Starter

Signed for $16m over 2 years this past winter, Andrew Cashner will be making his third start for the Orioles this evening. Despite declining peripherals from a time when he was a solid mid-rotation starter for the Padres, the right handed Cashner fought hard last year to keep the ball in the park and finished with his best ERA since 2014, despite a league worst 4.64 K/9 and a minimal 3.1 K%-BB%.

But he somehow makes it work, at least on occasion. His first game of the season went poorly, as he allowed 5 runs (4 earned) over 5 innings, serving up 3 home runs to the Twins. So when he went into Yankee Stadium last Thursday, I’m sure many were fearing for the baseball.

That didn’t happen. Cashner threw 6 innings of 2 hit, 1 run ball while striking out 5 and walking 3. The only blemish on his score card was a home run to Aaron Judge with 2 outs in the 6th, which he followed up by getting Giancarlo Stanton to chop one to 1B and finish his night.

Cashner faced the Jays once last year, on May 28, and gave up 1 run over 7 innings. This is a different team than last year, but we have all seen how frustrating Cashner can occasionally be to bat against. Hopefully that isn’t the case tonight.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Kendrys Morales left yesterday’s game with a grade 1 hamstring strain. Gibby is claiming that he isn’t going to need time on the DL, but I doubt we see him again in this series. Maybe 3 days off will somehow fix a hamstring strain, but it doesn’t make sense to me. The 10 day DL was supposed to make guys like Gibby less tentative to use it, and this is clearly the time to use it. But I obviously know less about the situation than Gibby does, so I’ll put off any further complaining.

Anyway, someone not named Kendrys Morales should be in the DH spot tonight. It’ll likely either be Steve Pearce or Josh Donaldson. If it’s Donaldson, Yangervis Solarte will get the start at 3B. If it’s Pearce, Solarte starts the night on the bench again.

After busting his 0-26 last night with a double, look for Randal Grichuk to be in right field again, working on mending a broken relationship with Jays fans.

And with Aaron Sanchez on the mound, I think there is a non-zero chance that Gift Ngoepe gets the start at SS. I would imagine Aledmys Diaz is still out there though.

Orioles’ Lineup

After going an incredible 0-12 with runners in scoring position last night and stranding 11 baserunners, the Orioles will be looking for some better fortune tonight.

I believe the only active platoon on the Orioles is the DH spot. So with Danny Valencia getting the start against lefty J.A. Happ last night, look for Pedro Alvarez to get the start today and tomorrow against the righties.

Yesterday’s Heroes

It was a pretty ho-hum night across the league for the bats. We’ll give the batting monster award (maybe in this case it’s running monster) to speedster Mallex Smith of the Tampa Bay Rays. Smith Mallex (a much less boring moniker than Smith) went 4-4 with a double, triple and a pair of steals, as he helped his Rays beat the White Sox 5-4.

There were 12 games last night, meaning 24 teams had starting pitchers. Of those 24 starting pitchers, 11 of them went at least 6 innings while allowing 2 or fewer earned runs. So in a tight race, we have to give the award to the only guy who went the distance, as Max Scherzer threw a 2-hit shutout against the team who entered the night as the highest scoring team in the league, the (wait, is this right?) Atlanta Braves. Scherzer struck out 10 and walked nobody, facing 1 batter over the minimum in the Nationals 2-0 win.

That performance also allowed Scherzer to just squeak out the WPA King victory as well, as even with his batting included, he just edged out Corey Kluber .525 to .516.

Milestone Watch

Roberto Osuna almost got a crack at career save 100 last night, but Josh Donaldson removed that opportunity. So maybe he gets a chance tonight.

John Axford pitched the 9th inning last night, his 498th career appearance.

Find the Link

Find the link between today’s Orioles starter and a former Blue Jay farmhand who was once traded for Ramon Castro.