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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Nationals, 1:05

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Baltimore has to win this afternoon to avoid a series sweep by Washington.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals
The Nationals’ Juan Soto slides into second base as the Orioles’ Pat Valaika awaits the throw from the catcher.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Having lost their past five games in a row, including the past two against the Nationals, the Orioles face the possibility of getting swept in DC this afternoon. In the first two games of the series, the Orioles have been outscored 11-16 by the Nats.

Starter Matt Harvey gets a chance to stop the losing skid today. While the Dark Knight managed a 4.26 ERA over five starts in March and April, he’s pitching to an 8.62 ERA over four starts in May. In five day games this season, Harvey has allowed 17 earned runs over 24.1 innings. Looking at the matchups, Josh Bell is hitting .267 in 15 career at-bats against Harvey, Josh Harrison is hitting .364 in 11 at-bats, and Kyle Schwarber is hitting .167 in 12 AB’s.

Unlike Matt Harvey, Nationals starter Patrick Corbin has improved as the season has progressed. After posting a 10.47 ERA in March and April, Corbin has rebounded with a 3.24 ERA over four starts in May.

Manager Brandon Hyde has tweaked the Orioles lineup, placing Austin Hays in center field and atop the order while Cedric Mullins gets the day off. Freddy Galvis is batting second, and in 13 career at-bats against Corbin he’s hitting .308. Maikel Franco, who has a .182 average in 11 AB’s versus Corbin, is batting sixth.

In transaction news, the O’s optioned Travis Lakins Sr. to Norfolk and recalled pitcher Brandon Waddell. The 26-year-old left-hander was claimed off waivers on May 8 after recording an 11.25 ERA in four relief appearances with the Twins.

Orioles lineup

  1. Austin Hays CF
  2. Freddy Galvis SS
  3. Trey Mancini 1B
  4. Anthony Santander RF
  5. Pedro Severino C
  6. Maikel Franco 3B
  7. Ryan Mountcastle LF
  8. Pat Valaika 2B
  9. Matt Harvey RHP

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 2B
  7. Alex Avila C
  8. Andrew Stevenson CF
  9. Patrick Corbin LHP