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Friday night Orioles game thread: vs. Rays, 7:05

It’s a battle of left-handed pitchers tonight at Camden Yards in the first of three games between the Orioles and Rays.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles
Orioles start John Means in between pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles have a tall task ahead of them this weekend with the AL East-leading Rays in town for a three-game set. So it’s a good thing the O’s have their ace on the mound for the series opener.

While John Means wasn’t exactly himself in his first two starts after being activated from the injured list, he excelled in his most recent outing. Against Detroit on July 31, he pitched six innings of one-run ball and recorded six strikeouts. But Means hasn’t fared well against the Rays this year, having allowed nine earned runs in two starts (11.1 innings). The left-hander will look to shake up that narrative tonight against a Rays team that is batting just .226 with a .680 OPS against southpaws in 2021.

Tampa Bay will counter with a left-handed starter of their own, Ryan Yarbrough, who has underperformed against Baltimore this year. That includes three starts and 17.2 total innings pitched, in which Yarbrough has allowed 14 runs (11 earned). His most recent start came against the Red Sox, when he allowed five earned runs over five innings.

Trey Mancini, batting third tonight as the designated hitter, is hitting .364 with three home runs in 22 career at-bats against Yarbrough. Cleanup hitter Ryan Mountcastle is hitting .250 in 12 ABs against the lefty, Anthony Santander has a career .231 average in 13 ABs, and Pedro Severino is hitting .200 in 20 ABs.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins CF
  2. Austin Hays LF
  3. Trey Mancini DH
  4. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
  5. Ramón Urías 2B
  6. Anthony Santander RF
  7. Pedro Severino C
  8. Maikel Franco 3B
  9. Richie Martin SS

LHP John Means

Rays lineup

  1. Jordan Luplow LF
  2. Nelson Cruz DH
  3. Wander Franco SS
  4. Yandy Diaz 3B
  5. Brandon Lowe 2B
  6. Manuel Margot RF
  7. Ji-Man Choi 1B
  8. Mike Zunino C
  9. Kevin Kiermaier CF

LHP Ryan Yarbrough