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Friday night Orioles game thread: at Nationals, 7:05

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It’s Battle of the Beltway time for the Birds, who are looking to put a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays behind them.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

There’s some major scuffling going on in Baltimore right about now.

Since that high of John Means’s no-hitter - hard to believe that’s only the fifth-most recent no-no, by the way - the Orioles have had a hard time winning ball games. They’ve lost 10 of 12 games since that 6-0 victory over Seattle, and the two wins in that stretch came at the end of series against the Red Sox and Yankees to prevent sweeps.

It hasn’t always been a horror show - the Orioles let the middle game of the recent series with the Rays get away, and they found a way to lose the opener of a two-game set with the Mets as well - but Baltimore just hasn’t found a way to nail those victories down.

Well, here’s another chance, against a rival in the Washington Nationals, no less. And on the road! Things are looking up already.

Getting the ball for the Nationals will be Stephen Strasburg, who has been an annual Cy Young contender but who has only made four starts combined between last season and this year. He’s 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in 2021, and hasn’t made so much as an appearance since April 13, when he allowed eight runs in four innings in a 14-3 loss to the Cardinals and soon after went on the injured list with shoulder inflammation.

Opposing him for the orange and black will be Jorge Lopez, who, well, you’ve got to applaud his consistency. He had a 6.33 ERA in 2019, a 6.34 ERA with the Orioles last year after being claimed off waivers, and he has a 6.35 ERA with a 1-4 record this season. He had back-to-back solid starts against the Mariners and Red Sox at the beginning of the month, but allowed five runs (four earned) in two innings against the Yankees in his latest outing. Hopefully a rebound is in order. The O’s could use it.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Austin Hays - LF
  3. Trey Mancini - 1B
  4. Anthony Santander - RF
  5. Freddy Galvis - SS
  6. Maikel Franco - 3B
  7. Stevie Wilkerson - 2B
  8. Chance Sisco - C
  9. Jorge López - P

Nationals lineup

  1. Trea Turner - SS
  2. Juan Soto - RF
  3. Josh Bell - 1B
  4. Kyle Schwarber - LF
  5. Starlin Castro - 3B
  6. Josh Harrison - 3B
  7. Yan Gomes - C
  8. Stephen Strasburg - P
  9. Andrew Stephenson - CF