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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Rays, 1:10

The Orioles have already set a club record by losing 14 road games in a row. They will try to avoid setting a new record 15th loss today.

New York Mets v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Among the many things that’s really not fun about an extended period of rebuilding that results in very bad baseball at the MLB level is how often bad records are set. This has been a periodic feature since that last disastrous Dan Duquette-led season in 2018, when the Orioles record was worse than any other Orioles team’s record had ever been before.

Though it’s three years since then, we haven’t quite escaped that gravity in Birdland just yet. The Orioles, you may have heard, have now lost 14 straight road games, which set a new club record. Of all of the bad baseball that’s ever been played by O’s teams - the 1988 guys who started off 0-21 most notably, also those 2018 losers, and any of the 1998-2011 seasons - they have never done this, until now.

This is the plan, and even though prospect-laden rosters with Bowie, Aberdeen, and Delmarva are having successful seasons so far, that doesn’t make the MLB games any more fun to experience. The players they have are not good enough to be anything other than a bad team. Some who we had hoped to be better are not performing at that level.

And so it goes on, another year where the most exciting day of the summer might be the first day of the draft, when we find out who among the year’s top talents could some day be an Oriole... unless they go underslot again, as some mock drafts are suggesting, and don’t actually take a player who’s regarded in the consensus top 5-7 to use more money later on high school players who might go to college if not for a large signing bonus.

If the Orioles are going to avoid setting a new club record with a 15th consecutive road loss today, they will have to do it without Cedric Mullins in the starting lineup. Mullins has played in every game of the season to date and is getting a rest day with the O’s not set for another scheduled off day until July 1.

Orioles lineup

  1. DJ Stewart - LF
  2. Trey Mancini - 1B
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle - DH
  5. Austin Hays - CF
  6. Freddy Galvis - SS
  7. Maikel Franco - 3B
  8. Pat Valaika - 2B
  9. Austin Wynns - C

This is the lineup that will be trying to get some run support for Baltimore’s own Bruce Zimmermann, who has a 2.93 ERA over his last three starts. This would be more exciting if he’d gone more than 5.1 innings in any of those starts, but hey, the Orioles would take 5.1 innings and two runs allowed today.

Rays lineup

  1. Manuel Margot - RF
  2. Yandy Diaz - RF
  3. Mike Brosseau - 2B
  4. Randy Arozarena - DH
  5. Brandon Lowe - LF
  6. Francisco Mejia - C
  7. Joey Wendle - 3B
  8. Taylor Walls - SS
  9. Brett Phillips - CF

Michael Wacha is the starting pitcher for the Rays. If I had ever known before this moment that Wacha was on the Rays, I completely forgot that information. The Rays once famously went years between having games started by a player aged 30+. In 2021, once Wacha turns 30 on July 1, they’ll have both him and Rich “The Blister” Hill in their rotation. Some things are new in the Rays philosophy. Their adaptations haven’t hurt them in the standings. They’ve still got the best record in the American League.