Scott Richmond(notes) got off to a promising start and looked to be more than capable as a member of the starting staff for Toronto in April. Since facing Baltimore in May, however, he’s only been able to record two victories.
Richmond will try to snap a nine-game winless streak when the Blue Jays close a three-game series against the Orioles on Wednesday night
Toronto (66-83) named Richmond (6-10, 5.31 ERA) the fifth starter in spring training, and he provided the Blue Jays with some rare stability early on when the rotation was struggling with injuries.
Richmond was 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts after he gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings of a 4-3 victory over Baltimore on May 3. The right-hander has struggled since then, however, as he hasn’t won since June 24 and missed almost all of July with shoulder tendinitis.
The Blue Jays have fallen in eight of Richmond’s last nine starts. He lasted two innings against Tampa Bay on Friday, allowing five runs and seven hits in an 11-4 loss, and has a 10.88 ERA in his last four starts.
“He’s been having trouble with his location for a while,” manager Cito Gaston said.
Richmond could have a good chance to end his woes against the Orioles (60-91), who lost their sixth straight after falling 6-5 in 11 innings on Tuesday. Baltimore has been outscored 41-16 during the losing streak.
The Orioles led 5-2 after seven innings, but Edwin Encarnacion(notes) hit a two-run homer in the eighth and Jose Bautista(notes) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth, bringing in the tying run. Aaron Hill(notes), who homered earlier, doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th to reach 100 RBIs for the first time in his career.
“It was a nice hit,” Hill said. “It’s something you’re not really trying to get to but it’s in the back of your head. It’s nice to get it over with and just play.”
Toronto has scored 15 runs in back-to-back wins after being limited to nine in a four-game slide.
The Orioles will send Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (10-15, 5.05) to the mound in the series finale. He dropped his second straight start Friday after giving up three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-1 loss to Boston.
The right-hander has given up eight runs and 21 hits with six walks in 11 1-3 innings against New York and Boston after giving up four runs in 27 innings of the previous four starts.
Guthrie is 2-3 with a 3.07 ERA against Toronto, splitting two starts against the Blue Jays this season.
Nick Markakis(notes) missed his first game of the season Tuesday as Baltimore gave him the night off. The right fielder, who is six RBIs shy of reaching 100 for the second time in his career, is hitting .105 in the last 10 games with one RBI, and is 2 for 6 against Richmond.