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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: vs. Royals, 7:05

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Can the Orioles make it two in a row with Aaron Brooks on the mound?

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3 kicks off tonight at 7:05, and guys, it’s going to be a barnburner! OK, I have to admit, it’s tough to get excited about an Aaron Brooks start right now. Here’s what Mark had to say about him in the series preview:

Games started by guys like Brooks are one of the many things that’s made this season such a substantial slog as an Orioles fan. Brooks is 29, and he’s not someone any O’s fan had any investment in six months ago, so even if he has a good game here or there, what does it matter?

Brooks is here, like Asher Wojciechowski is here, because Elias doesn’t want to rush Keegan Akin, Zac Lowther, Alex Wells, or any other Bowie/Norfolk pitching prospect into this inferno before they’re ready. And so you get... this. Some people will even pay money to see the game on Wednesday. Others will spend hours of their life watching it on television. It’s just not easy to be an Orioles fan right now.

Oof. It’s very hard to disagree. I guess I will say that Brooks’ last start, a 9-1 loss to the Red Sox on August 16, was actually decent. Not “Holy smokes, he’s throwing fire, people!,” but decent. For 5.1 innings, Brooks wiggled out of trouble against a No. 1-hitting Sox before the game imploded, as it tends to do this year.

Plus, so far this series, nobody is going to mistake Kansas City for an offensive powerhouse. They rank in the bottom-three in the AL in most offensive categories, and last night, they made Dylan Bundy look like a staff ace over seven innings. So I’d say if Brooks is gonna have a chance to show off his stuff, this is the start to do it!

None of these Royals have faced Brooks, who used to pitch for them in 2014 and ‘15. (He actually just missed being a part of that Series-winning team, getting traded by KC to the A’s on July 28th.)

On the hill for the Royals is recent Cubs pickup Mike Montgomery. In six starts for KC since getting traded, the lefty Montgomery is 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 27 K’s in 29 innings. Only Villar has any sustained exposure against him: he’s 2-for-12 with 4 K’s, while Mancini is 0-for-2 and Rio Ruiz 1-for-2.

You never know with this pitching staff, but I could see this one being a close, low-scoring game. Let’s see if I’m proven wrong.

Orioles lineup

Hanser Alberto 2B
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander LF
Renato Núñez DH
Jonathan Villar 2B
Pedro Severino C
DJ Stewart RF
Stevie Wilkerson CF
Richie Martin SS

  • Aaron Brooks RHP

Royals lineup

Whitt Merrifield 2B
Jorge Soler DH
Hunter Dozier RF
Alex Gordon LF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Meibrys Viloria C
Bubba Starling RF
Brett Phillips CF
Nicky Lopez SS

  • Mike Montgomery LHP