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Friday night Orioles game thread: vs. Blue Jays, 7:05

The Orioles will gladly leave their road woes on the back burner as they return to Baltimore for six games.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Remember Thomas Eshelman? He’s back, baby.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are back home in Baltimore. And unlike earlier this season, that’s probably a good thing.

The O’s, in the midst of a 19-game road losing streak that’s quickly approaching an American League record, will get to press pause on that stretch of futility for the next six days as they host a pair of three-game series at Camden Yards. The Birds’ most recent homestand from May 31-June 9 was a successful one, with the O’s posting a 5-3 record and winning or splitting all three series.

It was a stark contrast from their Baltimore performance prior to that, in which they were a dismal 6-18 and didn’t win any of their first seven home series. (Yet the O’s were 11-6 on the road during that same stretch. Go figure.)

The first visiting club in town is the Blue Jays, who bizarrely have not yet faced the Birds this season despite being a divisional opponent. As Harrison Jozwiak pointed out in the series preview, the Blue Jays lead the majors in home runs this season while the Orioles lead the majors in giving up home runs. So...that’s gonna go great. It’ll be a minor miracle if the Orioles allow fewer than, say, 15 long balls in this three-game set.

Further complicating matters for the Birds is that tonight’s scheduled starter, Bruce Zimmermann, had to go on the injured list with left bicep tendinitis, forcing the Birds to summon Thomas Eshelman from Triple-A Norfolk as tonight’s emergency starter (and also DFA’ing Chance Sisco to make room on the 40-man roster). Eshelman pitched in parts of the 2019 and 2020 seasons for the Birds, making exactly four starts each year. He’s got a career 6.27 ERA as a starter, and this year at Norfolk he was 0-3 with a 6.41 ERA in six games (three starts).

Good luck, Thomas. Good luck to all of us.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
1B Trey Mancini
RF Austin Hays
LF Ryan Mountcastle
DH Anthony Santander
SS Freddy Galvis
3B Maikel Franco
C Pedro Severino
2B Pat Valaika

RHP Thomas Eshelman

Blue Jays lineup:

2B Marcus Semien
SS Bo Bichette
1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
CF Randal Grichuk
RF Cavan Biggio
LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
DH Joe Panik
3B Santiago Espinal
C Riley Adams

LHP Robbie Ray