WASHINGTON—The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2, in the first game of a day/night doubleheader on Tuesday. The teams play again in Toronto at 7:07 p.m.
The Orioles begin their game against the Washington Nationals 5 ½ games behind the Blue Jays for the third and final wild-card spot, with their hopes dimming after six losses in their last eight games. Tampa Bay and Toronto play seven more games in the next nine days.
“We’ve got to take care of what we’ve got to do,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “None of that’s going to matter if we lose the series. It’s important that we get back on the winning track and play well these last [three]-plus games.”
When Hyde came to the Orioles in 2019, the Nationals won the World Series with manager Dave Martinez, who was a coach on the Chicago Cubs with Hyde from 2014-2017.
Now, the Nationals are rebuilding and have the worst record in baseball. The Orioles, who lost 108 games in 2019, are in contention for the first time since 2016.
“You’re going to see things you haven’t seen in a while,” Hyde said. “There are going to be a lot of tough nights because you’re behind the 8-ball. You’re playing young players, and in the division we’re in, you’re playing against teams that are built to win that year. You’ve got to be as consistent as possible and positive as possible.”
Voth returns: Austin Voth was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round in 2013 and spent five seasons with the Nationals until the Orioles claimed him off waivers on June 7th.
He has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles as a starter with a 4-2 record and a 2.82 earned-run average. With two offdays this week, Hyde has put him in the bullpen for the two-games series in Washington.
“It’s definitely a weird feeling,” Voth said about returning to Washington. “I’m glad to be back to see some teammates of mine.”
The Nationals have made many moves since they let Voth go in June.
“They’ve definitely moved a lot of players off that squad over there,” he said. “Some of my friends are there. Some aren’t, but I got to catch up with a few last night.”
Voth was on the 2019 team that won the World Series but didn’t play in the postseason.”
Hyde said that Voth could use some rest. The 85 2/3 innings he has thrown are the most he has pitched in the major leagues.
“Giving him a little break,” Hyde said. “Trying to end the season strong. He’s thrown a lot of innings, made a lot of starts that he hasn’t made in the last couple of years. This is coming at the right time.”
Odor update: Second baseman Rougned Odor is not in the lineup two days after he was hit by a pitch, causing a bruise. He said he could pinch-hit.
“When he came out of the came two days ago, it was really swollen,” Hyde said of his hand. “A lot of treatment on it today. An offday yesterday was really helpful.”
Notes: Right-hander Rico Garcia, who was designated for assignment when the Orioles acquired catcher Cam Gallagher off waivers, passed through outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. … Double-A Bowie was held to five hits in a 3-0 loss to Akron. Cade Povich (2-1) allowed two runs on three hits in five innings.
Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions later this week. Please email them to: [email protected].