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Tuesday night Orioles game thread: at Athletics, 9:40 ET

In which a just-added-to-the-roster Chris Ellis takes the mound against a COVID-ridden A’s.

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles
Is this tonight’s starter? Only time will tell.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Orioles’ Western tour continues tonight with another night game… and another start by a guy who, if all were going as planned, would not be out there on the mound for the Orioles.

Brandon Hyde declined to name a starter yesterday, so until about 7 pm ET, all we knew was that John Means is injured, Bruce Zimmermann pitched on Sunday, Jordan Lyles gets the game ball on Wednesday, Tyler Wells starts on Thursday, and Keegan Akin threw a couple last night. Oh, and also that right-hander Chris Ellis (not on the official 40-man roster) was on the taxi squad and with the team in Oakland. So it seemed likely he’d be the guy.

What we didn’t know is that, in the meantime, the team was cooking up a move or two to clear up a spot for Ellis on the roster. That move, it turns out: designating DJ Stewart for assignment. It was a long time coming, I guess, for the No. 25 draft pick of 2015, and I can’t say, based on the pulse here in the Camden Chat-verse and elsewhere, that anybody will be surprised or particularly disappointed by the result. I mean, Stewart had a .213 career average in 527 ABs and once tried to catch a fly ball off his face. He seems like a cool dude, though, so best of luck to him wherever his next stop is.

So, like I said, tonight we will get to see Chris Ellis make his 2022 debut for Baltimore. Ellis started the season in Triple-A, making one appearance for Norfolk where he pitched four scoreless, no-hit innings and struck out five. Last season, Ellis put up pretty decent numbers as a late addition to the O’s rotation, with a 2.49 ERA in six starts. His 5.22 FIP and 5.07 K/9 over the same stretch was less encouraging. But here we are, the staff that gives chances to dark horses.

On the bump for Oakland will be “Swirvin’” Cole Irvin (1-1, 5.40 ERA). The fourth-year lefty struggled to find consistency in his first two seasons with Philadelphia, but last year he led the league in starts (32) and put up a decent 4.24 ERA. In his first start of 2022, Irvin allowed four runs against his former team, but against Tampa Bay he went an impressive 6.1 innings and allowed three runs. Irvin is somewhat homer-prone, with a 3.1 HR/9 rate this season, although he’s pitching in the right park to cover those sins.

Last night we saw a patched-together A’s lineup featuring the likes of Christian Bethancourt, who prior to Monday hadn’t been seen in the Majors for five years. With seven A’s players still on the COVID list, it’s a similar Murderers’ Row facing Ellis tonight.

Let’s go O’s!

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Anthony Santander LF
3. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
4. Trey Mancini DH
5. Austin Hays RF
6. Ramón Urías 2B
7. Robinson Chirinos C
8. Kelvin Gutiérrez 3B
9. Jorge Mateo SS

Chris Ellis RHP

Athletics lineup

1. Tony Kemp DH
2. Sheldon Neuse 3B
3. Sean Murphy C
4. Billy McKinney RF
5. Christian Bethancourt 1B
6. Elvis Andrus SS
7. Seth Brown LF
8. Cristian Pache CF
9. Nick Allen 2B

Cole Irvin LHP