Awaiting word on Bo Bichette, Jays try to solve O's

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Jul 29, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (11) hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre.
Jul 29, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (11) hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre.
Image: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays were waiting to find out the status of All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette before the second game of their series with the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night

Bichette experienced what the team said was "right knee discomfort" in the third inning on Monday. He pulled up abruptly after hitting his second single of the game, a drive to right. Bichette hobbled off the field, and Santiago Espinal replaced him at shortstop


Blue Jays manager John Schneider said the team should know more about the extent of the injury on Tuesday

The first-place Orioles won the opener of the four-game series 4-2 to take a 6 1/2-game lead over the third-place Blue Jays in the American League East


The Orioles are 6-1 against the Blue Jays this season and have won all four games in Toronto

"There's been a lot of close games," Schneider said. "You're always trying to adjust, you're trying to tweak, it's an adjustment-based game, right? So, it's what's Kyle Gibson (the winning pitcher on Monday for Baltimore) going to do to us? What did he do last time? How are we going to adjust, what are we going to do differently to Adley Rutschman and (Anthony) Santander and Gunnar Henderson

"It's kind of a never-ending back and forth. We've definitely dug into it like we do every series. But it comes down to just really taking that approach and going out and executing it, taking advantage of mistakes and trying to limit those mistakes when we're on the mound.

The Orioles are scheduled to start right-hander Kyle Bradish (6-6, 3.29 ERA) on Tuesday


Bradish is 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in six career outings against the Blue Jays. He 11-1 at Toronto on June 13 after allowing five runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings

Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu is scheduled to make his season debut as he comes back from Tommy John surgery performed in June 2022


Over nine career starts against Baltimore, Ryu is 5-1 with a 4.35 ERA

The loss of Bichette for any period clearly would hurt the Blue Jays' offense, which has been inconsistent this season


Bichette, who is hitting .321, has an AL-leading 144 hits this season to tie John Olerud (1993) for the most hits in a season in franchise history before August

Toronto's Whit Merrifield continued his recent success when he extended his hit streak to 10 games with a solo homer


Meanwhile, Baltimore's Ryan Mountcastle continued to enjoy hitting against Toronto, producing two doubles, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs

In 46 career games against Toronto, Mountcastle is hitting .313 (55-for-176) with 10 doubles, 15 homers and 39 RBIs


A key to the Orioles' success has been their defense. That continued with third baseman Henderson, who also homered, and shortstop Jorge Mateo making key plays

However, the best play came in the ninth when left fielder Austin Hays made a diving catch on Merrifield's liner for the second out with two runners on base. It helped Felix Bautista earn a five-out save


"Unbelievable," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. "That was an enormous play in the game.

Hayes understood the magnitude of his grab

"That's got to be No. 1," Hays said of where it ranked in his career. "Just with the situation of the game right there, too, I'd say that's the best catch I've ever made.


--Field Level Medi