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Saturday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 4:10

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It had been a nightmarish month of August for the Orioles. They turn to Jorge López as they look to right the ship at Fenway.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Like it or not, the Orioles will be part of one of baseball’s biggest stories today. Chris Sale returns to a big league mound for the first time in over two years. The 32-year-old lefty has finished in the top 6 in Cy Young voting seven different times, but it’s been a few seasons since he was putting together those sorts of elite performances. This Red Sox team desperately needs rotation help, and an in-form Sale would be the perfect solution.

Prepare to hear jokes about how this is essentially another rehab start for Sale. The Orioles are scuffling in August, having won just once this month and enter today as losers of nine straight contests. On top of that, All-Star centerfielder Cedric Mullins is getting a day off despite owning a .920 OPS against southpaws this year.

It will be Jorge López’s turn to take the pill for the Birds. He is one of the few players on this roster enjoying the August heat. Over his two starts this month, López has allowed three runs over 12 total innings and has a WHIP of just 1.000. There has been some batted ball luck (.133 BABIP), and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is headed in the wrong direction, but let’s stay positive!

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Austin Hays, RF
  2. Trey Mancini, 1B
  3. Pedro Severino, C
  4. Anthony Santander, LF
  5. Ryan McKenna, CF
  6. Maikel Franco, 3B
  7. Jorge Mateo, 2B
  8. Richie Martin, SS
  9. Austin Wynns, C

RHP Jorge López (3-12, 5.75 ERA)

Red Sox Starting Lineup

  1. Enrique Hernández, 2B
  2. Alex Verdugo, LF
  3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  4. Rafael Devers, 3B
  5. J.D. Martinez, DH
  6. Hunter Renfroe, RF
  7. Jarren Duran, CF
  8. Christian Vázquez, C
  9. Bobby Dalbec, 1B

LHP Chris Sale (season debut)