Orioles starter Aaron Brooks had won back-to-back starts prior to a slight regression against the Royals. Brooks will try to duplicate his six innings of two-hit ball against the Nationals from August 27, opposed to his 4.1 innings and three earned runs his last time out, tonight against the Rangers.
Mason Williams will start in center field an bat sixth for the Orioles tonight. Williams will be flanked by Dwight Smith Jr. and Anthony Santander, while Trey Mancini serves as the designated hitter. Chris Davis will play first base and bat eighth.
Rio Ruiz will man the hot corner, while Hanser Alberto takes second base. Jonathan Villar will leadoff and play shortstop. Chance Sisco will serve as the battery mate for Brooks.
Austin Hays is not in the Orioles starting lineup, but he’ll be in the building after a last-minute rule change regarding the Arizona Fall League. Hays can have his cup of coffee this month and still get at bats in the AFL after all. He could be a candidate for a pinch hitting/running opportunity late in the game.
If Brooks does bounce back, the bullpen will need to hold the lead. It’s a task they failed at last night, with Paul Fry surrendering two runs without recording an out. The young, power arms have been fun to watch, but implosions from Fry and the rest of the O’s ‘pen have made a difficult season nearly impossible to tolerate.
Brooks will not toss a complete game tonight, so the Orioles will need to lean on their bullpen. Some insurance runs early certainly wouldn’t hurt the cause...
For the Orioles:
- Jonathan Villar SS
- Trey Mancini DH
- Anthony Santander RF
- Dwight Smith Jr. LF
- Hanser Alberto 2B
- Mason Williams CF
- Rio Ruiz 3B
- Chris Davis 1B
- Chance Sisco C
Starter: RHP Aaron Brooks