Chris Jakubauskas wasn't expected to rejoin the rotation until Saturday, when the Orioles needed a fifth starter, but he's taking the ball tonight in the series opener in Toronto.
Manager Buck Showalter bumped rookie left-hander Zach Britton to Friday's game in Washington, which might seem puzzling.
Wouldn't he want Britton going against a division rival?
Well, it's a small sample size, but the Blue Jays scored seven runs off him (five earned) in five innings in a June 3 start at Camden Yards.
Here's a bigger sample size; The Blue Jays are batting .292 with an .833 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. They're hitting .249 against right-handers, which could make Jakubauskas a better fit. We'll find out tonight.
Jakubauskas has faced Toronto twice in his career, logging 2 1/3 relief innings. In that same June 3 game, he blanked the Blue Jays on two hits, with two strikeouts, in two innings.
Jose Bautista is 1-for-2 with two RBIs lifetime against Jakubauskas.
This stat probably means nothing, since we're talking about small sample sizes, but Jakubauskas has pitched in three games in ballparks with synthetic turf and has allowed nine runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He's walked four batters and served up three home runs.
This stat disturbs me more than any other: The Orioles are 1-17 at Rogers Centre in the last two seasons.
A win tonight moves them into fourth place. Nothing disturbing about that one.
NOTE: As expected, the Orioles reinstated first baseman Derrek Lee from the bereavement list. He'll be in tonight's lineup.