Orioles' Hess seeks return to form vs. Jays

Field Level Media

David Hess won his first start of the season when he threw 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball April 1 against the Toronto Blue Jays before new manager Brandon Hyde pulled him.

The no-hitter was broken up soon after Hess left, but he got the win that night. However, the Baltimore right-hander now has gone 11 straight starts without a win. He hopes to end that streak when he takes on Toronto on Wednesday night at Oriole Park.

Hess (1-8, 7.08 ERA) struggled badly for two months before improving in his latest start, when he gave up four runs (three earned) in six innings during a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Thursday. However, he has allowed 20 homers, tied for the major league high, in 61 innings.

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Hess has a 2-1 record with a stellar 0.71 ERA in four career appearances versus the Jays, all starts.

Toronto will start another struggling right-hander, Edwin Jackson (0-4, 11.90 ERA).

The 35-year-old veteran owns a 6-1 record with a 3.06 ERA in 11 outings (nine starts) against the Orioles over his 17-year career. He is off to a tough start this season, though, having given up 29 runs (24 earned) on 30 hits in 14 2/3 innings over his past four starts.

Pitching has been a problem for Baltimore all season, but the rotation has fared much better in recent days. The Orioles got five consecutive quality starts (six or more innings, three earned runs of fewer) before John Means threw five innings of one-run ball Tuesday as Baltimore earned a 4-2 victory in the series opener.

However, the Orioles received some bad news before Tuesday's game when vice president/general manager Mike Elias told the media that top starter Alex Cobb will undergo right hip surgery this week.

"We do expect that it will end his season," Elias said on MASNsports.com. "We made the determination to do it. He could try to pitch right now. He clearly hasn't been 100 percent, and it's more important to us that we get this issue corrected at the right time and have him 100 percent for next spring training."

The Blue Jays are like the Orioles as they also are trying to find their way, having dropped five in a row. Toronto's offense just has not been able to get going this season, with the slump deepening over the past week.

Toronto's .218 team batting average is the worst in baseball, and the Blue Jays have scored two runs or fewer in five straight games. That's not helping the team's pitching staff.

"It's just that things are not happening right now," Blue Jays utility man Lourdes Gurriel Jr. told MLB.com over the weekend. "We're all young, we know that, but we are in the big leagues. It's just not happening right now."

The Blue Jays finished with only five hits in the Monday loss, one of which was Eric Sogard's homer to lead off the game. Toronto managed only two at-bats with runners in scoring position, going hitless each time.

--Field Level Media

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