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Monday night Orioles game thread: vs. Yankees, 7:05

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Hold onto your hats, folks. This one could get ugly.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

So, Birdland, how do you fancy yet another game where an anonymous member of the Orioles bullpen faces off against a big-name starter from a better team? Tonight the O’s have a chance to break a dubious MLB record: if they give up two home runs or more, that’ll give them a historic ten consecutive multi-homer games allowed. If this isn’t the 2019 Orioles in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.

The Orioles kick off a three-game homestand against the Yankees tonight. Please read Paul’s series preview to steel yourself for what could turn out to be some gaudy home run totals. The Orioles have lost 10 of 12 games to New York this year, during which they’ve given up 36 home runs (including 27 at Camden Yards).

Momentum is a thing, and the Orioles have built up some during this recent month of .500 baseball. All-around, they’re playing much better than they did in May. But I’m not sure that’s going to count for much against a team that just swept a reeling Boston in four games to tie the Dodgers for the best record in the Majors, 72-39.

All-Star Masahiro Tanaka has silenced the Birds in two previous appearances against them this season, giving up just one earned run each time. Still, our guys might hope that whatever’s been ailing Tanaka recently—he’s got a bloated 10.59 ERA in his last six starts, including eight homers allowed—it’ll strike again tonight.

Few in this untested lineup have experience against Tanaka dating back to before this season. Trey Mancini has a solid 6-for-22 line against him, while Jonathan Villar has two hits in nine trips to the plate. Of the younger guys, Renato Núñez is 2-for-5, Stevie Wilkerson is 1-for-3, and British pop sensation Anthony Santander is 0-for-3. Chris Davis is .206 with one home run against Tanaka in in 34 at-bats, but tonight’s matchup will probably feature a very different Tanaka against a very different Davis.

Gabriel Ynoa hasn’t been called upon to start since June 30, and frankly, that’s been a good thing. Ynoa was 0-5 with a 6.55 ERA in seven appearances as a starter dating back to May 27; barring one July 12 clunker against Tampa Bay, Ynoa has pitched to a 1.19 ERA as a reliever since. But with Andrew Cashner shipped off to Boston, and John Means recently laid up, this is kind of a “do or die” moment. In his only appearance against the Yankees, a 2.1 inning outing on May 22, Ynoa allowed three hits, including—of course—a home run to Gleyber Torres.

The remainder of the NYY lineup doesn’t have glitzy numbers against Ynoa, though—Aaron Judge is 0-for-4, Brett Gardner 1-for-5, and Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu and Cameron Maybin 0-for-1.

Against all reason, I’m going to cross my fingers and hope it stays this way for Ynoa and the Orioles tonight.

Orioles lineup

Jonathan Villar SS
Trey Mancini RF
Anthony Santander LF
Renato Núñez DH
Jace Peterson 3B
Hanser Alberto 2B
Chance Sisco C
Chris Davis 1B
Stevie Wilkerson CF
Gabriel Ynoa P

Yankees lineup

DJ LeMahieu 3B
Aaron Judge RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Gleyber Torres DH
Mike Ford 1B
Brett Gardner CF
Austin Romine C
Mike Tauchman LF
Breyvic Valera 2B
Masahiro Tanaka P