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Saturday late night Orioles game thread: at Angels, 9:07

The Orioles can seal their first road series win of the year with a victory in Los Angeles tonight.

Baltimore Orioles v. Oakland Athletics
It’s your time now, Spenser Watkins.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Orioles’ first and only series at Angel Stadium this season could hardly have started better last night. Bruce Zimmermann was dominant, the bullpen was spotless, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were held in check, and the O’s finally cobbled together some clutch hits and held on for a 5-3 victory in the opener.

Still, it’s a somber day for the Birds as the news that O’s fans dreaded has become official: John Means is undergoing Tommy John surgery, which is expected to sideline the ace lefty until midway through the 2023 season.

It’s a dismal turn of events for Means, who turns 29 tomorrow and likely won’t pitch again until he’s 30, as well as for the Orioles, who suddenly have a gaping void they need to fill in their rotation. Until prospects like Grayson Rodriguez and Kyle Bradish make their debuts, it’ll be up to guys like tonight’s starter, Spenser Watkins, to serve as competent placeholders. Watkins, for what it’s worth, has allowed just two earned runs in eight innings this year, though a matchup against the 1-2 punch of Ohtani and Trout promises to be a tougher test.

The Angels will counter with former Mets phenom Noah Syndergaard, who’s off to a hot start in his first two outings with the club, winning both games while posting a 1.59 ERA. A Tommy John survivor himself, Syndergaard no longer pumps triple digits like he did in New York, now averaging 95 mph on his fastball and averaging just four strikeouts per nine innings so far in 2022.

Who’s spending their late Saturday night watching with us?

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
DH Anthony Santander
RF Trey Mancini
1B Ryan Mountcastle
2B Rougned Odor
LF Austin Hays
3B Ramon Urias
C Anthony Bemboom
SS Jorge Mateo

RHP Spenser Watkins

Angels lineup:

DH Shohei Ohtani
CF Mike Trout
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Jared Walsh
RF Taylor Ward
LF Brandon Marsh
C Max Stassi
2B Tyler Wade
SS Andrew Velazquez

RHP Noah Syndergaard