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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Rangers, 2:35

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The Orioles have a chance to bag their second road sweep of the season, and their ace is on the mound to do it.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

OK, Orioles, we’re trying not to take this personally.

Spectators have made their long-awaited return to ballparks this season, including Camden Yards, where O’s fans are happily cheering on their team in person for the first time in two years. And yet, early in this 2021 season, the Birds seem completely averse to winning games at home — going just 1-6 — while saving their best play for the road, where they’re 6-2 entering today.

Is it us, guys? (sniffs) Do we smell bad?

Oh well. It’s certainly preferable to be bad at home and good on the road than to be bad at home and bad on the road. And this afternoon, the Orioles have a chance to nail down their second sweep out of their three road series this year, as they look for their third straight win in their first-ever series at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

They’ve got the right guy on the mound to do it, with No. 1 starter John Means making his fourth start of the year. Means’ last two starts haven’t duplicated the standard he set with his seven-inning, one-hit gem in Boston on Opening Day, but he’s still carrying a 2.16 ERA. He’ll take on Rangers ace Kyle Gibson, who has been sort of the opposite — a shaky outing on Opening Day followed by two excellent starts. The Orioles historically haven’t had much success against Gibson; he’s 6-2 in 11 career starts against them dating back to his Twins days, including four straight quality starts, although this current O’s lineup looks very different than the last few times he faced them.

Trey Mancini gets his first day off of the season for the Orioles, with Ryan Mountcastle starting at first base for the second straight game. Rio Ruiz slides into the DH slot for the first time this year.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
RF Anthony Santander
LF DJ Stewart
3B Maikel Franco
1B Ryan Mountcastle
DH Rio Ruiz
SS Freddy Galvis
C Chance Sisco
2B Ramon Urias

LHP John Means

Rangers lineup:

SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa
2B Nick Solak
1B Nate Lowe
RF Adolis Garcia
DH David Dahl
C Jose Trevino
3B Charlie Culberson
LF Eli White
CF Leody Taveras

RHP Kyle Gibson