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Friday night Orioles game thread: vs. Red Sox, 7:10

A chance for Aaron Brooks to get back into form, and for the Orioles to drive a stake through Boston’s playoff chances. 

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

So it’s that time in the season—the Orioles, mathematically assured of another losing season, now get to play the spoiler. I wish we were playing competitive baseball, but we may as well get our kicks where we can.

This is the fourteenth time the Orioles and the Red Sox have played this season. Baltimore is 5-8 against them, which is certainly better than 2-15 against that other team.

If you checked out Drew’s series preview, you’ll know that tonight’s game features two pitchers who haven’t been exactly living up to expectations (although to be fair, the expectations for Aaron Brooks were not exactly astronomic).

Brooks has been super iffy after starting off his tenure with Baltimore wth two nice “opens” of 2.2 innings apiece against Tampa Bay and Washington. Since July 17, he’s pitched to a 10.71 ERA over five games, allowing 23 runs in 19.1 innings. Opponents’ batting average against him is .364 in that stretch. Ouch.

In a limited sample size, a few Red Sox have put up big numbers against Brooks. Mitch Moreland is 2-for-2 with 2 walks. Brock Holt has faced him once, coming out with a triple. Michael Chavis is 2-for-2. And Mookie Betts is 2-for-8 against Brooks, but those two hits are a triple and a homer.

Facing the Orioles is not the same Rick Porcello who won the 2016 Cy Young Award. In 24 starts this season, the righty has a 5.67 ERA and a 1.425 WHIP, although his record (10-9) could be a lot worse, considering. Porcello has seen the O’s twice this season already. On April 13, at Fenway, they scored three off of Porcello over four innings before going on to win 9-5. On July 20, Baltimore roughed up Porcello for six runs over five innings on eleven hits... and still went on to lose that one, a horrific 17-6 Tom Eshelman/Jimmy Yacabonis implosion that ended with Dr. Poo Poo on the mound.

So the Orioles could, and should, do some damage tonight. Trey Mancini has been Porcello kryptonite: he’s 6-for-12 with one walk and four doubles. Anthony Santander is 3-for-3 against Porcello, including a triple and a home run. Ohhhhhohoho, am I excited to see those at-bats tonight. Renato Núñez is 2-for-8 against Porcello with a homer, Jace Peterson is 1-for-8, Rio Ruiz 2-for-5, Chance Sisco 2-for-6, and Jonathan Villar 1-for-5. Chris Davis has hit .236 against Porcello over 57 plate appearances with four home runs and 11 RBIs.

You’ll notice the outfield merry-go-round keeps turning. Mancini can be found in left field tonight, as DJ Stewart finally gets back off his rehab stint. Let’s hope things go well for Stewart this time around.

Everybody ready for a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel?

I thought not.

Anyway, let’s go O’s!

Orioles lineup

SS Jonathan Villar
LF Trey Mancini
CF Anthony Santander
DH Renato Nunez
C Pedro Severino
2B Jace Peterson
RF DJ Stewart
3B Rio Ruiz
1B Chris Davis
C Chance Sisco

RHP Aaron Brooks

Red Sox lineup

RF Mookie Betts
3B Rafael Devers
SS Xander Bogaerts
DH J.D. Martinez
LF Andrew Benintendi
C Christian Vazquez
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Marco Hernandez
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.