Despite having a rough time in the ninth inning of Thursday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Trevor Richards will be the Blue Jays’ opener in Friday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Kevin Gausman started Thursday’s game against Tampa and allowed five runs over the course of seven innings. Zach Pop tossed a scoreless eighth inning and then Richards was brought in for the ninth but he was only able to record two outs. Richards was tagged for five earned runs on three hits and two walks and David Phelps was brought in to record the final out of the inning.
Richards had a very good run after coming off of the Injured List back in early July. He posted a 1.73 ERA over the course of 24 outings but has struggled recently, as he’s been tagged for nine earned runs over one-and-two-thirds innings in his last three appearances.
The Blue Jays are doing a bullpen day on Friday as a result of playing five games over the course of four days with the Rays. The plan is likely for Richards to toss an inning and then for Yusei Kikuchi to log multiple innings as the bulk guy. Jose Berrios and Alek Manoah are scheduled to start on Saturday and Sunday on normal rest.