Less than a year after Baltimore gave up on him, John Parrish is doing a good job finding a home in Toronto.
Parrish will look to lead the Blue Jays to a three-game sweep of the Orioles on Thursday at Rogers Centre.
Parrish (1-0, 1.50 ERA) is making his second spot start in place of the injured Shaun Marcum. The left-hander was impressive on June 28, allowing one run in six innings of a 9-5 win over Tim Hudson and Atlanta in his season debut.
“I really didn’t have anything to lose,” he said. “I knew coming in what the situation was, and I just tried to forget about all that and go out there and do what I needed to do.”
The start was Parrish’s 11th and first since July 7, 2004 while with Baltimore. Parrish started his career with the Orioles (44-45), going 12-12 with a 4.52 ERA from 2000 until the middle of the 2007 season, when he was traded to Seattle.
He signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays (44-47) in January, and now gets to face his former team for the first time.
“He earned his way back here, and hopefully he’s going to be a big part of this team,” manager Cito Gaston said.
For now, the Blue Jays are hoping that Parrish can lead them to their first sweep of the Orioles since May 14-16 last season, when they won three games at home.
Eckstein is 8-for-17 (.471) in five games against the Orioles this season, while Rios is 9-for-27 (.333) with a homer versus Baltimore.
Vernon Wells has been even better, going 13-for-23 (.565), including 2-for-4 on Wednesday. However, he left the game after six innings with a left leg cramp.
“Right now we just think it’s a cramp,” Gaston said. “We don’t know. It’s kind of sore.”
The Orioles lost their fourth straight despite three hits from Nick Markakis, who is hitting .406 (26-for-64) during a career-best 16-game hitting streak. He homered in the ninth for Baltimore, which has scored 24 runs in its last three games.
“We battled back, we did a great job,” Markakis said. “We just fell one run short.”
Now, the Orioles will hand the ball to Jeremy Guthrie (5-7, 3.61), who gave up four runs in 6 1-3 innings to win Friday 10-4 over Texas. He has lasted at least six innings in each of his last four starts, going 2-0 over that span.
“He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes early,” manager Dave Trembley said, “and what we haven’t done collectively as a team, he did. After we scored, he put shutdown innings up there for us, and I think that was big, especially against a club like Texas that is so good offensively.”
Guthrie is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays. He beat them on June 7 by pitching seven innings and yielding one run in a 9-5 win in Toronto.