He returns to SkyDome for just the second time since being traded after the 1999 season as the Baltimore Orioles continue their weekend series with Blue Jays.
Hentgen was 120-88 for Toronto from 1991-99. He was 19-9 with 3.87 ERA in 1993 during his first full season, helping the Blue Jays to their second straight championship. In 1996, he went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA and 10 complete games to win the AL Cy Young.
The veteran right-hander hasn’t enjoyed the same success since leaving the Blue Jays.
He went 15-12 with St. Louis in 2000, and then signed with Baltimore as a free agent after the season. Hentgen was 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA in nine starts in 2001, before being placed on the disabled list in late May with a sprained right elbow. He had “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery on the elbow nearly three months later and missed most of last season as well.
After returning last September, he went 0-4 with a 7.77 ERA in four starts, including a loss at Toronto on Sept. 26 in his first appearance at SkyDome as a visiting player.
Hentgen began this season in the bullpen, and made four appearances before gaining a spot in the rotation. On May 17, he got his first win in two years, allowing two hits in seven innings in a 2-0 win over Tampa Bay.
“There are times I thought it would never happen,” Hentgen said after the win.
He then went 0-5 with a save in six starts and two relief appearances, before getting a win in his last start. The right-hander gave up a run and three hits in three innings of a 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays last month in one of the relief appearances.
Toronto won the series opener 5-3 on Friday as Carlos Delgado hit his AL-leading 29th home run and drove in four runs, and Cory Lidle won for the first time in more than a month. Delgado’s three-run shot off Jason Johnson in the fifth was his first homer in 72 at-bats since July 2—his longest drought this season.
It was just the Blue Jays’ seventh win in 23 games.
Baltimore lost for the second time in three games following a six-game winning streak.
STANDINGS: Orioles - 4th place, 13 1/2 GB, AL East. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 11 GB, AL East.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Hentgen (2-5, 5.06 ERA). After giving up 10 runs and 12 hits in 12 innings spanning his previous two starts, Hentgen limited Texas to two runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 win on Monday.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Mark Hendrickson (6-6, 5.17 ERA). The left-hander shut down the Yankees in his last start, limiting them to five hits in seven innings of a rain-shortened 8-0 win that was stopped after 7 1/2 innings.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Orioles - Melvin Mora, .330 avg.; Tony Batista, 18 HRs; Jeff Conine, 71 RBIs and 60 runs; Brian Roberts, 16 SBs. Blue Jays - Delgado, .308 avg., 29 home runs and 103 RBIs; Delgado and Vernon Wells, 81 runs; Bobby Kielty, 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 6-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Orioles - Manager Mike Hargrove said the Orioles might have to put OF B.J. Surhoff on the disabled list with a left quadriceps injury. Surhoff strained the leg July 9 in Seattle and missed six games. He aggravated it Thursday against the Yankees. … OF Mora is 3-for-25 since the All-Star break, dropping his average to .330. Mora is 3-for-10 with a homer and four RBIs against LHP Hendrickson. … 3B Batista is 1-for-10 with a homer against Hendrickson. Blue Jays - DH Josh Phelps and RHP Cliff Politte were activated from the 15-day disabled list, while OF Jayson Werth and RHP Dan Reichert were sent to Triple-A Syracuse. … DH Phelps hit .262 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs before going on the DL with lower back spasms on July 10. Phelps will share time at DH with OF Frank Catalanotto, part of a larger rotation that also includes OF Reed Johnson and OF Kielty. … SS Mike Bordick is 6-for-14 (.429) against RHP Hentgen.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Orioles - 21-28 on the road; Blue Jays - 24-26 at home.
INJURIES: Orioles - OF Larry Bigbie (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Omar Daal (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Jerry Hairston Jr. (foot), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - INF Dave Berg (fatigue), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.