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Saturday night Orioles game thread: vs. Red Sox, 7:35

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The suddenly slumping O’s are staring at the prospect of a lost series against the miserable Red Sox, and will be facing a sweep if they can’t bounce back tonight.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Baseball is a weird game, isn’t it?

The Orioles were being laughed at at the start of the season, seemingly nothing more than cannon fodder for the Red Sox in what everyone expected to be a season-opening Boston sweep. Then the Orioles won the series.

Now, it’s the Red Sox who are the train wreck, and the Orioles who are the surprising contenders. And if Baltimore doesn’t get its act together, the narrative reversal will be complete.

The O’s haven’t looked good while dropping the first two games of this four-game set to the Red Sox, scoring one run over the first 15 innings and losing games by scores of 7-1 and 8-5.

Boston’s widely mocked pitching staff has given the Orioles trouble, though three home runs and five runs over the last three innings Friday provides hope the bats have warmed up.

Tonight will give even more of an indication. Pitching for the Red Sox is Martin Perez, who is 2-3 with a 4.07 ERA. He’s faced the Orioles once this season, and allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings of a 7-2 loss.

The Orioles will give the ball to Alex Cobb, who’s 2-3 with a 3.76 ERA and looking to continue what’s been a decent season. Good news: He looked great earlier in the year against Boston, allowing one run on four hits in 5.1 innings while striking out six. Bad news: He’s coming off of his worst start of the season, one in which he was battered around for five runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings against Toronto.

Orioles lineup

1. Hanser Alberto 3B

2. Anthony Santander RF

3. Renato Nunez 1B

4. Pedro Severino DH

5. Pat Valaika SS

6. Ryan Mountcastle LF

7. Bryan Holaday C

8. Ramon Urias 2B

9. Cedric Mullins CF

RHP Alex Cobb

Red Sox lineup

1. Alex Verdugo LF

2. Rafael Devers 3B

3. J.D. Martinez DH

4. Xander Bogaerts SS

5. Mitch Moreland 1B

6. Christian Vazquez C

7. Kevin Pillar RF

8. Jackie Bradley CF

9. Jose Peraza 2B

LHP Martin Perez