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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Royals, 2:10

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The Orioles haven’t won very many road series this year. They’ve got a chance to add another on Sunday.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Matt Harvey is one of many guys where you wonder why he’s still in the rotation.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Orioles come into Sunday’s series finale against the Royals with a chance to do something that’s been rare for them this year: Win a road series. It only feels like it didn’t happen at all in the first half. The season-opening sweep in Boston was a long time ago. And now the Orioles somehow have a worse record at home than they do on the road, but let’s not worry about that today. They don’t return home until Friday.

It’s Matt Harvey taking the mound for the Orioles as the team goes for this series win. When you have a starting pitcher who comes out of the All-Star break with a 7.70 ERA, it’s hard to feel good about their chances for winning. If you can believe it, the Orioles have managed to go 7-11 in Harvey’s starts despite that ERA. They even won one as recently as June 30!

So, I don’t know, maybe it can happen today? We saw the Orioles overcome a poor starting pitching effort to still win a game just last night. The Royals are also not a very good baseball team in the 2021 season, although at this moment they’re nowhere near the conversation for worst - eight games up on the O’s in the loss column and 14 games up on the league-worst Diamondbacks.

Kansas City’s offense is bad and so is their pitching. Their only starting pitcher with an ERA under 5 is Danny Duffy, who already pitched on Friday night. Today, it’s Carlos Hernandez, who has yet to start a game in 2021. He has a career ERA of 4.95, so the O’s should have a decent chance to get to him, although we all know how this goes sometimes.

It’s not like the Orioles lineup is any good either. Little more need be said than the fact that DJ Stewart is serving as cleanup hitter. That was true last night as well and the O’s still won, but you know, it’s just not great when you plug a guy with a .671 OPS in that spot. It’s not like there’s anyone to put there who you’d feel a whole lot better with him as the cleanup hitter.

Maybe Ryan Mountcastle, who at least has 14 home runs this year, but he’s getting the day off today. So, Stewart it is. And hitters much worse than he is are bringing up the rear in the 6-9 spots. It will be nice when the day arrives that the O’s are consistently fielding a good lineup. Today’s not that day. Tomorrow’s not looking too good either.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Austin Hays - RF
  3. Trey Mancini - 1B
  4. DJ Stewart - DH
  5. Ramón Urías - SS
  6. Domingo Leyba - 2B
  7. Ryan McKenna - LF
  8. Kelvin Gutierrez - 3B
  9. Austin Wynns - C

Royals lineup

  1. Whit Merrifield - 2B
  2. Andrew Benintendi - LF
  3. Salvador Perez - DH
  4. Carlos Santana - 1B
  5. Ryan O’Hearn - RF
  6. Hunter Dozier - 3B
  7. Michael Taylor - CF
  8. Cam Gallagher - C
  9. Nicky Lopez - SS