“I’m glad I don’t have to face these guys anymore,” Richards said Wednesday afternoon, around 24 hours after he was traded from Milwaukee. “You look at our lineup, it’s unreal. I’m excited to be on this side of it.”
The Baltimore Orioles sure know what he’s talking about. Getting production from the top to the bottom of the order, the Blue Jays hammered out 15 hits in a 10-2 blowout.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had three singles and drove in two runs to increase his major league-leading RBI total to 73, Bo Bichette homered, Teoscar Hernández had three hits and Cavan Biggio chipped in with a pair of RBIs.
Guerrero hit RBI singles in the first and fourth innings to help Toronto build a 6-0 lead. The 22-year-old star also singled in third inning and finished 3 for 4 to raise his batting average to .341.
Bichette drove in three runs and had three hits, including a two-run drive into the left-field seats that made it 9-1 in the sixth.
That made it easy for Hyun Jin Ryu (8-5) to beat the Orioles for the third time since June 20. The lefty gave up five hits and one run in five innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“He didn’t have the changeup the last three outings,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “When he has the changeup he can keep guys off balance, and that’s what he had today. It was a perfect outing going into the (All-Star) break.”
Baltimore starter Matt Harvey (3-10) was tagged for six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander is 0-9 in 12 starts since May 1 and now ranks second in the AL in losses behind teammate Jorge López (11).
“They just kind of singled me to death,” Harvey said. “It was one of those starts where I left the ball over the middle a little bit, they put the ball in play and it happened to be where we weren’t playing.”
Harvey has a 7.70 ERA and has completed the fifth inning just once during his current skid, yet he continues to pitch every fifth day because manager Brandon Hyde has little else to choose from out of an injury-depleted, dreadful rotation.
“Obviously frustrated. It’s been a rough first half,” Harvey said. “I’ve just got to hit the reset button. I think the break is going to help. I think a lot of us are banged-up and tired and definitely need the rest and time off.”
The Blue Jays benefitted greatly from a replay review that overturned the original call and fueled a three-run first inning. With runners at first and second and no outs, Guerrero hit a liner to left that a diving Ryan McKenna was ruled to have caught, and Baltimore turned it into a double play.
But replay showed he didn’t catch it, and Guerrero was credited with an RBI single. Randal Grichuk subsequently delivered a run-scoring groundout and Biggio followed with a double that brought home Guerrero.
Toronto made it 6-0 in the fourth. After Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled in a run and Bichette chased Harvey with an RBI single, Guerrero ripped a 3-2 pitch from Adam Plutko into center field to bring in another run.
ING AND GOING
Richards has been traded twice, first from Tampa Bay and then from Milwaukee, since May 21. Both deals caught him by surprise, particularly the second one.
“You’re never really expecting it in the middle of the season, especially after you’ve been traded,” Richards said. “It’s a shock a little bit, but a new atmosphere is good and I’m looking forward to it.”
Richards worked a perfect sixth inning in his Toronto debut.
To make room for Richards, the Blue Jays optioned struggling reliever Trent Thornton to Triple-A Buffalo.
Blue Jays: RHP Julian Merryweather (strained left oblique) has experienced a setback in his bid to come off the injured list. “It’s taking longer than we thought it would,” said Montoyo, adding that the standout reliever has temporarily stopped throwing off the mound.
Orioles: 3B Maikel Franco was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right ankle sprain. He hasn’t played since the injury occurred on June 30 in Houston but hopes to return immediately after the All-Star break.
Toronto rookie Alek Manoah (2-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his eighth major league start — the third against Baltimore — in the series finale Thursday night. The Orioles will start lefty Keegan Akin (0-4, 7.46).