Jays, Orioles meet in finale to decide series winner

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Jun 9, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wells (68) throws a sixth inning pitch against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Jun 9, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wells (68) throws a sixth inning pitch against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Image: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Another pitchers' duel could be in the offing when the Toronto Blue Jays and the host Baltimore Orioles play the rubber game of a three-game series on Thursday

On Wednesday, Toronto's Jose Berrios outdueled Baltimore's Kyle Bradish. Thursday's matchup pits Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (6-2, 4.34 ERA) against Orioles right-hander Tyler Wells (5-2, 3.24)


Wells is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA over his past three starts. The last time out, he gave up two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings in a Friday win against the Kansas City Royals, striking out four and walking one. For the season, the 28-year-old is averaging nearly one strikeout per inning.

Last season, his first as a starter, Wells went 7-7 with a 4.25 ERA, and he averaged 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings.


"He's learning how to navigate lineups three times through, which he really didn't have to do much last year, and understanding how good his command is," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. "(Against the Royals), he didn't have his real good fastball, but he had to command it. He had to use other things.

Wells is 2-1 with a 6.14 ERA in eight games (two starts) vs. Toronto.

Kikuchi is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his past three starts. He went five innings and allowed two runs in each of those outings. Against the Minnesota Twins on Friday in his latest start, he struck out four and walked one in a no-decision. Kikuchi gave up one home run, raising his season total in that category to 18.

He is 3-5 with a 6.29 ERA in nine career games (six starts) against the Orioles

On Wednesday night, the Orioles couldn't solve Berrios, who improved to 10-0 in his career against them with 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 3-1 win. Berrios shut down a Baltimore team that pounded out a season-high 17 hits in an 11-6 win on Tuesday


"Basically, he had everything working against obviously a really good lineup," Toronto manager John Schneider said.

George Springer homered against Bradish in the seventh for the game's first run, and Toronto's Whit Merrifield had three hits and an RBI.


Blue Jays reliever Tim Mayza came on to retire Gunnar Henderson with two on and two outs in the eighth. Jordan Romano allowed singles to Ryan O'Hearn, Austin Hays and Aaron Hicks with two outs in the ninth to allow a run, but he struck out Adam Frazier to complete his 19th save

Toronto, which has won nine of its past 13 games, improved to 1-4 against the Orioles and 7-16 vs. the American League East


The Orioles had won five straight and nearly made it six

"We definitely showed heart right there in the ninth inning, coming up with some clutch hits with two outs," Hicks said. "And we were able to get one run, but we were still out there fighting. Especially since the pitcher tonight was tough. He was pinpointing his spots, and you're just going to have games like that."


Baltimore placed right-handed reliever Austin Voth on the 15-day injured list due to right elbow discomfort. He struggled on Tuesday against Toronto, giving up two runs while getting only one out. The Orioles purchased the contract of right-hander Reed Garrett from Triple-A Norfolk and designated catcher Mark Kolozsvary for assignment

Garrett threw a scoreless inning on Wednesday in his Orioles debut

--Field Level Media