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Thursday afternoon game thread: vs. Mariners, 3:05 pm

Jimmy Yacabonis makes his first major league start as the Orioles try to avoid the four-game sweep. Best of luck to him and to us all.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles, losers of four in a row and carrying a 23-56 record this season, are finally doing their fans a favor. They're starting the finale of their four-game set with the Mariners at 3 PM local time, which means their nearly-inevitable loss will be finished in time for O's fans to enjoy the rest of their Wednesday evening. (Barring a long, extra-innings affair, of course. That would be our luck.)

The Orioles' last hope to salvage a win in this series is righty Jimmy Yacabonis, who will be making his first major league start in place of the injured Dylan Bundy. Yacabonis's 16 previous MLB appearances all came in relief, and in fact he'd never started a game at any professional level until this season, when the O's converted him to the rotation at Norfolk. Yacabonis held his own pretty well in that role, posting a 3.14 ERA in 13 starts, though his 6.8 strikeouts-per-nine rate indicates he wasn't exactly blowing hitters away. His task will get only more difficult in the majors. Still, here's hoping for the best.

The O's also will have catcher Chance Sisco back in the lineup after he was recalled from Norfolk early this afternoon. The quick call-up makes the Orioles' demotion of Sisco to the minors 11 days ago seem all the more bizarre. The O's reportedly sent Sisco down to work on his throwing, but in just five games down there, he failed to throw out any of the 10 attempted base stealers. And for those who were speculating that the O's demoted Sisco to gain an extra year of service time, well, he wasn't down there long enough for that to happen. So why, pray tell, did the Orioles send him to the minors in the first place?

It's almost as if they don't have a plan. That can't be true, can it?

Today's Lineups

Dee Gordon - 2B Trey Mancini - LF
Jean Segura - SS Colby Rasmus - CF
Mitch Haniger - RF Manny Machado - SS
Nelson Cruz - DH Mark Trumbo - DH
Ben Gamel - LF Chris Davis - 1B
Ryon Healy - 1B Danny Valencia - RF
Chris Herrmann - C Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Guillermo Heredia - CF Chance Sisco - C
Andrew Romine - 3B Steve Wilkerson - 3B
Mike Leake - RHP Jimmy Yacabonis - RHP