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Friday night game thread, vs Indians, 7:05

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John Means is coming off the IL. Can he carry his team again?

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Orioles had two off-days this week, which meant a guaranteed two days that an Orioles pitcher would not blow up on the mound.

Tonight, there is baseball to be played, but hopefully a healthy John Means can keep up the non-implosion streak. Means has been on the injured list since June 20th with a shoulder strain that he described as non-serious. As Mark wrote earlier today, there have been times this year that Orioles like Alex Cobb or Richard Bleier have returned a little too soon from injuries that lingered, but hopefully Means’ aches and pains are behind him.

Means faced Cleveland once before on May 18, and it wasn’t his best, although far from a disaster, either. Means went 5 innings and allowed 5 hits and 3 runs (on a two-run home run by RF Jordan Luplow and an RBI double by Francisco Lindor). In the matchups with Means, first baseman Carlos Santana is 1-for-2; catcher Roberto Pérez 0-for-2, centerfielder Oscar Mercado 1-for-2, 2B Jason Kipnis 1-for-3, Lindor 1-for-3, and Luplow 1-for-3 with that aforementioned home run.

On the hill for Cleveland is the righty Mike Clevinger, who’s just coming off the injured list himself, after a back strain in April and an ankle injury in June. Even in his injury-shortened 2019, his fourth season with Cleveland, Clevinger has been very good, pitching to a 1-1 record, with a 2.70 ERA and 29 Ks. He gets a lot of swings and misses on his 97-98 mph fastball, and can also put hitters away with his slider, changeup, and curve. On April 7, Clevinger fanned 10 Blue Jays in just five innings. Several Orioles have faced Clevinger before: Chris Davis is 2-for-8, Trey Mancini 2-for-9, Renato Núñez 0-for-3, Anthony Santander 0-for-3, Chance Sisco 1-for-2, and Jonathan Villar 1-for-3.

Figure to see a lot of strikeouts tonight, but hopefully Means doesn’t show a lot of rust and keeps the Orioles in this game.

Orioles lineup

Jonathan Villar SS
Dwight Smith Jr. LF
Trey Mancini DH
Chance Sisco C
Anthony Santander RF
Rio Ruiz 3B
Hanser Alberto 2B
Chris Davis 1B
Stevie Wilkerson CF

  • John Means LHP

Indians lineup

Francisco Lindor SS
Oscar Mercado CF
Carlos Santana 1B
Jordan Luplow RF
Jason Kipnis 2B
Roberto Pérez C
Bobby Bradley DH
Yu Chang 3B
Jake Bauers LF

  • Mike Clevinger RHP