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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: at Cardinals, 7:45

Spenser Watkins is on the bump as the O’s look to clinch a series win in St. Louis.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles will look to Spenser Watkins tonight as they try to earn their third series win in the last two weeks. Watkins will be hoping that he can make it five straight quality starts for the rotation, completing one full turn for the unit. The 29-year-old has thrown six innings in a start only twice in his brief big league career while the lone quality start was on July 19, 2021 against the Rays (6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 SO).

Fortunately, there won’t be a ton of pressure on him to do so. Kyle Bradish went seven frames on Tuesday night, requiring the bullpen to throw just 33 total pitches between Joey Krehbiel, Dillon Tate, and Felix Bautista. If Brandon Hyde wants to avoid using an arm three days in a row that means Krehbiel and Bautista are off limits, but the rest of the ‘pen should be available.

It’s a tough balancing act for Hyde as a “bullpen game” seems to be on tap for Thursday. Ideally, Watkins goes deep enough and then turns it over to some combination of Keegan Akin, Cionel Pérez, and Tate for a win. Then Thursday becomes a bonus, where you just throw Logan Allen, Bryan Baker, and Travis Lakins at the wall and hope it works out.

But beating Miles Mikolas is a tall task. He is yet to allow more than two runs in any one of his starts and (apart from his first start of the year) is averaging 6.1 innings per outing. This will be his second career start against the Orioles. He last faced this team on July 2, 2014 as a member of the Texas Rangers. On that day he went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Given the context, those numbers mean absolutely nothing here, but you read them anyway.

The Orioles lineup tonight is once again missing Ramón Urías due to the abdominal soreness he felt during batting practice on Tuesday. He is joined on the sidelines by Ryan Mountcastle, who was in Hyde’s original lineup but was later scratched. As of this writing, there has been no confirmation on the cause, although he did suffer neck stiffness at the end of April, which put him on the bench for two days at the time.

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins, DH
  2. Trey Mancini, 1B
  3. Anthony Santander, RF
  4. Austin Hays, CF
  5. Rougned Odor, 2B
  6. Jorge Mateo, SS
  7. Tyler Nevin, LF
  8. Robinson Chirinos, C
  9. Chris Owings, 3B

Spenser Watkins, RHP (0-0, 3.22 ERA)

Red Sox Starting Lineup

  1. Tommy Edman, 2B
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  4. Juan Yepez, LF
  5. Dylan Carlson, RF
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Harrison Bader, CF
  8. Corey Dickerson, DH
  9. Brendan Donovan, SS

Miles Mikolas, RHP (2-1, 1.53 ERA)