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Game #98 Preview: Cashner vs Happ

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Orioles (28-71) vs Blue Jays (45-52)

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After a second consecutive great start leading to a win yesterday afternoon, the Jays look to earn the sweep over Orioles on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Today’s game gets underway at 1:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

All Star J.A. Happ gets the ball for the Blue Jays. After earning the save in the All Star Game, Happ is ready to resume his life as a starting pitcher and as trade bait. And that life hasn’t been going so well since the calendar flipped to July. In 3 July starts against Detroit, New York and Boston, Happ has thrown just 12 innings, surrendering 18 runs (although “just” 13 earned), striking out 15, walking 8, and allowing 4 home runs. Those are not the numbers of a pitcher anyone will want to trade for. So hopefully this soft opening of the second half against the Orioles will help him re-establish his control of the game.

Happ has played the Orioles twice this year. In total, he has thrown 13 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 12 and walking 5. He allowed a home run to Manny Machado, who is obviously not going to factor into this game.

Orioles’ Starter

Andrew Cashner heads to the mound for the Orioles. The other “prized” acquisition for the Orioles over the offseason, Cashner is surprisingly not having a dreadful season. Through his first 18 starts, he is 2-9 with a 4.56 ERA. His strikeout rate has risen from the ashes and is 7.24 per 9 innings this year, after bottoming out at 4.64 per 9 innings last year. But he is allowing walks (3.84 per 9 innings) and home runs (1.43 per 9 innings) at bad rates.

Cashner has faced the Jays twice this year. The first time, on April 10, he went 7 shutout innings, striking out 6 and allowing just 4 hits. The second time around 2 months later, he allowed 3 runs on 9 hits, this time only striking out 4 over 6 innings. Russell Martin and Randal Grichuk took Cashner deep in that one.

Lineups

Today's Lineups

BALTIMORE ORIOLES TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Tim Beckham - SS Curtis Granderson - RF
Joey Rickard - CF Randal Grichuk - CF
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Justin Smoak - 1B
Danny Valencia - RF Kendrys Morales - DH
Mark Trumbo - DH Yangervis Solarte - 3B
Renato Nunez - 3B Russell Martin - C
Trey Mancini - 1B Dwight Smith - LF
Caleb Joseph - C Aledmys Diaz - SS
Jace Peterson - LF Lourdes Gurriel - 2B
Andrew Cashner - RHP J.A. Happ - LHP

As expected, Lourdes Gurriel has been activated from the 7 day DL, and Moonlight Urena was optioned back to Buffalo. Gurriel gets the start at 2B today.

Dwight Smith Jr. is in LF, giving Teoscar Hernandez the day off. And Russell Martin is back behind the plate.

Danny Valencia returns to RF for the Orioles. Trey Mancini starts at 1B, pushing Chris Davis to the bench and allowing Jace Peterson to earn his first start of the series in LF.

Yesterday’s Heroes

While not as impressive as his win yesterday, Matt Carpenter is once again our Monster Bat award winner. Carpenter hit a home run in both games of the double header, going 2-4 with a pair of walks in total. He helped the Cards split the double header against the Cubs with scores of 6-3 and 7-2.

Hunter Pence of the Giants gets the WPA King award, and does it in the rare fashion by getting it in a loss. Pence had a big 7th inning single, and an even bigger 9th inning double, but the Giants lost 4-3 in 11 against the Athletics, in spite of Pence’s .577 WPA effort.

Dylan Covey was magnificent against the Mariners last night, throwing 8.1 shutout innings while allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks. His effort helped the White Sox to the 5-0 win.

Milestone Watch

We’re still waiting on Aaron Loup, as he’s close to catching Paul Quantrill for relief appearances as a Blue Jay.

This is Happ’s 127th start as a Blue Jay, tying Rickey Romero for 12th place on the franchise list.

Find the Link

Find the link between Cashner and Bo Jackson.