Baltimore Orioles show no mercy in humiliating Blue Jays

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A litmus test, a measuring stick, a reality check, many terms would be summoned with the Baltimore Orioles in town to play a four-game series against the Blue Jays.

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When the teams last hooked up back in Baltimore, the Jays went toe to toe with the O’s in a two-game split interrupted by rain that forced the second game of the three-game series to be postponed.

A series sweep in Chicago against the White Sox followed by a series win over visiting Pittsburgh may have raised expectations.

The gravity of the Jays’ situation really hit home when the O’s opened their stay at Rogers Centre by unleashing home runs in a 7-2 beat-down Monday.

Then came Tuesday night and the script was pretty much the same as the series opener.

The Jays, whose pitching is thin, resorted to an opener in Trevor Richards.

He needed 40 pitches, a season high, during his two-inning outing when Richards retired all six batters he faced, including striking out four.

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Then the floodgates would open and the game turned lopsided.

Austin Hays went yard twice Monday, but on Tuesday it was Jays killer in Ryan Mountcastle who inflicted the damage in going deep twice himself, two bombs that accounted for five runs as Baltimore flexed its mighty muscle in a 10-1 win.

Once Richards was done for the day, the Jays were essentially done, first when Genesis Cabrera came into the game to begin the third inning followed by Bowden Francis.

Earlier Tuesday, Francis had been reinstated from the 15-day injured list, a move that would see Ryan Burr, who gave up a homer in the series opener, optioned to triple-A Buffalo.

Francis missed 34 games because of right forearm extensor tendinitis.

Any similarities from the Jays team that played in Baltimore to this one are purely coincidental.

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Boos from the announced crowd of 28,816, roughly 5,000 more from Monday’s paid attendance on a bobblehead giveaway, could be heard.

The gap between the Orioles and Blue Jays is deeper than the amount of hot dogs sold on Loonie Dogs Night.

Corbin Burnes picked up where Grayson Rodriguez left by giving Baltimore another strong outing from its starter.

Mathematically, there is always the potential of the Jays earning a split of this four-game series.

For that to happen, they’ll have to win Wednesday night and then Thursday afternoon.

Based on the evidence gleaned from the opening two games, it seems highly unlikely if not impossible.

A Baltimore sweep, which is quite doable, will signal the alarm bells, if they haven’t already been sounded.

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The two teams may play in the same division, but each is on a different trajectory, the O’s destined to be players in the playoffs, while the Blue Jays will be lucky to even get a sniff of the post-season.

When George Springer went deep with two outs in the seventh inning off Burnes, the Jays had finally scored their first run after the O’s had plated eight.

Prior to Springer’s belt, this uneasy quiet had descended, which was to be expected.

Derisive cheers then rang out after Connor Norby recorded his first MLB hit, a home run no less, off Nate Pearson.

For those who have lost track of the lopsided nature of this series, consider it was the sixth homer produced by the O’s in two games compared to one by the home side.

In two games, Baltimore has outscored the Blue Jays, 17-3.

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The first inning has not been kind to the Blue Jays.

In fact, the team has redefined the term futility when it comes to generating runs in its first at-bats.

When the Jays were retired in order Tuesday, it marked the 26th game in a row they failed to score a run in the first inning.

It will officially be remembered in the club’s record books because no team in franchise history has gone this long without scoring a run in the first inning.

Infamy was achieved when Davis Schneider led off the home half of the frame on a groundout.

While Danny Jansen managed to go the other way on a hard-hit ball, O’s right-fielder Anthony Santander ran it down on the warning track.

The inning ended on a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. groundout.

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Vlad Jr. was back at third base for the second time in three games.

Defensively, the Jays repeated the look they featured in Sunday’s series finale against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, an alignment that had Justin Turner at first base, Schneider in left field and Daulton Varsho in centre.

With a righty on the mound, the Jays had Daniel Vogelbach at DH, much like Sunday.

As inefficient as they’ve been in scoring runs in the first inning, the Jays have been quite proficient in the second inning.

Oddly enough, the Jays are baseball’s highest-scoring team in the second frame.

They had a chance to add to their status when Varsho stepped into the box with two outs and runners on the corners.

He flew out in foul territory near the third-base bag to end the inning.

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A weird sequence played out in the top of the third inning, the same inning that featured the O’s recording four runs.

It involved the game’s two catchers in Jansen and Baltimore’s James McCann.

Just when it appeared Colton Cowser stole second base, he was asked to retreat back to the bag at first when McCann was called out for batter interference.

Replays clearly showed Jansen exaggerating his lean into Cowser, which was akin to flop.

It worked, in the end, but then again it did come amid an onslaught of runs.

Jansen, who went 0-for-4 Monday, went 0-4 Tuesday.



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