Buchholz gets nod for Blue Jays at Baltimore

Field Level Media

The Toronto Blue Jays are being careful with their young pitchers in the season's final two weeks. They might go to more openers, as the team did Tuesday during an 8-5 win in the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles.

Trent Thornton had been listed as the starter, but Ryan Tepera threw the first inning, allowing two runs. Thornton then came on and went five innings, giving up just one run.

"For (some of these) kids, that's what we're trying to do, count their innings, so we can use an opener every day," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday, according to MLB.com. "We just have to be careful with those guys."

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Clay Buchholz (1-5, 5.63 ERA) will start for the Blue Jays on Wednesday, going against Baltimore's Dylan Bundy (6-14, 4.99). Buchholz had been out three months, not pitching from May 5-Aug. 25, but this will be his fifth start since coming back.

He is 11-7 with a 3.76 ERA against the Orioles in 23 appearances (20 starts) in his career.

Bundy is 4-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 13 games (nine starts) versus Toronto. He has been up-and-down this season, much like the rest of the Baltimore pitching staff.

Likewise, Toronto rookie Cavan Biggio has struggled at the plate for various stretches this season. His average fell to just above .200 earlier this month.

Now, Biggio has heated up, and he hit for the cycle on Tuesday.

Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, has gone 11-for-20 (.550) in the past five games and is hitting .265 this month. He went 4-for-5 with four RBIs on Tuesday, improving his overall average to .230.

He became the third Blue Jay to hit for the cycle, joining Kelly Gruber (April 16, 1989) and Jeff Frye (Aug. 17, 2001).

The Biggios became the second father-son duo to hit for the cycle, as Craig had achieved the feat April 8, 2002, for the Houston Astros against the Colorado Rockies.

Gary Ward and son Daryle Ward were the other pair who did it.

Toronto also received some unexpected power from Justin Smoak in the Tuesday win. He had managed only three hits and no homers against the Orioles this season but snapped a 4-4 tie in the ninth with a leadoff homer.

Trey Mancini is one Oriole who has been hot lately. He homered Tuesday for the fourth time in the past five games. Mancini, who banged out three long balls in a four-game series in Detroit over the weekend, has a .354 average with 15 RBIs in his past 12 games.

Mancini now has 34 homers and 88 RBIs this season, and he moved his average up to .280 with his 2-for-4 effort Tuesday.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde lauded Mancini in his postgame press conference, talking about how hard he plays every day and always comes to the park ready to go.

But Hyde was visibly disappointed with the way the rest of his team looked Tuesday. The Orioles are playing out the string, but they made a number of sloppy plays that kept giving the Jays opportunities or letting them off the hook.

"For the most part this year, we've competed our tails off (and) just fallen short quite a few times," Hyde said. "I thought we played like a really tired team (Tuesday)."

The Orioles had various mix-ups -- things like two players not communicating and letting a popup drop in foul ground, and pitcher Shawn Armstrong not looking back when Biggio was on second late in the game, letting the runner steal third easily before scoring a tying run.

Also, the bullpen blew up in the final two innings, giving up five runs and turning a 4-3 lead into an 8-4 deficit. Closer Mychal Givens allowed four runs, three earned, in two-thirds of an inning in the ninth.

--Field Level Media

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