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Wednesday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Diamondbacks, 3:40

The Orioles can seal their second straight series win with a victory this afternoon. They have the right guy on the mound to do it.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays
It’s John Means day, y’all.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the Orioles went 18 consecutive series this year without a series win? That wasn’t fun.

Things have turned around a little bit since, though. The O’s have won three of their last six series, and they can make it four of seven if they pull out the rubber game against the Diamondbacks this afternoon. The D’Backs took game one of the series on Monday before the Orioles answered in kind last night.

Rubber games haven’t been the Orioles’ cup of tea this year. Although they won their most recent one, beating the Red Sox on Sunday, they’d lost eight in a row before that. (Hence the trouble with winning series.) Still, the pitching matchup appears to be in their favor. All-Star John Means will make his third start of the second half; after getting hit hard in the first, he rebounded with a typical, quality Means performance in his last outing against Boston. Arizona will counter with rookie righty Taylor Clarke, who holds a 6.50 ERA this year.

It’d be a bad look for the Diamondbacks, who are fighting for their playoff lives, to lose a series to the Orioles. But with all due respect to Adam Jones, I’d be perfectly okay with that happening.

Orioles lineup:

2B Jonathan Villar
RF Trey Mancini
CF Anthony Santander
3B Renato Nunez
LF Dwight Smith Jr.
C Pedro Severino
1B Chris Davis
SS Richie Martin
P John Means