(AP) — Up until a few weeks ago, Baltimore’s Jimmy Paredes probably would’ve been labeled either a journeyman or a utility infielder.
Now, he’s an everyday player and one of the most productive players in baseball.READ MORE: Baltimore Police Officer Dragged By Vehicle, On Life Support At Shock Trauma
Paredes looks to continue his breakout season Wednesday night as the Orioles face the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of this three-game series.
Paredes made an impression in 18 games with the Orioles (14-17) last year, batting .302 after he had a .234 average in his first 377 at-bats over parts of three seasons in stints with Houston and Kansas City.
Released and acquired off waivers three times before he was obtained from the Royals in July for cash considerations, Paredes hasn’t stopped hitting since he was reinstated from the disabled list on April 18. He’s been used exclusively lately as a designated hitter and also has seen time at second and third base.
He accounted for all of Baltimore’s offense with a two-run single in Tuesday’s 10-2 loss to Toronto, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Paredes is batting .357 in 20 games with five home runs, 17 RBIs, six doubles, two triples and 16 runs. His 55 total bases since April 18 are tied for third in the AL during that span.
After dropping Monday’s series opener, the Blue Jays (17-17) got two home runs from Edwin Encarnacion and another from Josh Donaldson en route to their sixth win in eight games against the Orioles.
Both of Encarnacion’s homers were to the opposite field.
“I can’t remember the last time I saw him do that,” manager John Gibbons said. “That just shows you he’s staying on the baseball.”
Encarnacion has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games and is batting .346 with three homers and 13 RBIs in that stretch. He is just 6 for 31 versus Baltimore this season, but four of his seven home runs have come in those matchups.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Hot And Humid Days Are On The Horizon
He’s fared similarly against scheduled starter Miguel Gonzalez, going 3 for 22 with three homers.
Gonzalez (3-2, 3.57 ERA) tries to continue his success against the Blue Jays. He’s gone 6-1 with a 2.13 ERA in his last nine starts versus Toronto, allowing 38 hits over 55 innings. He posted a 1.62 ERA in this matchup last season and won both decisions in three starts.
Gonzalez, though, struggled at Yankee Stadium on Friday, yielding five runs and five hits over a season-low four innings of a 5-4 loss.
The Blue Jays have averaged 7.4 runs against the Orioles this season, collecting 12 homers and 27 doubles among their 82 hits.
“They’re swinging the bat. We’re not,” said Manny Machado, who made one of Baltimore’s season-high three errors. “They’re hitting in key situations, and we’re just making too many errors. Plain and simple, we’re making too many errors. Dumb mistakes that we shouldn’t be doing. It’s not like us.”
Aaron Sanchez (3-2, 3.62) hopes his teammates can continue their production as he tries to build off his best start. The right-hander allowed two hits over a career-best seven-plus innings and worked around five walks in a 7-0 victory over Boston on Friday.
Lack of command continues to be a concern for Sanchez, who has walked 11 in his last two starts and a major league-high 25 in 32 1-3 innings.
Seven of those walks came against the Orioles on April 22 but he survived by limiting them to two hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-2 victory.MORE NEWS: At Least 5 Shootings In Baltimore Since Monday; Harrison Weighs In On Mosby Prosecution Policy
Chris Davis is 4 for 4 with two homers against Sanchez.