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Saturday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Royals, 4:10 ET

The O’s have frustratingly dropped two straight to a team that’s worse than they are. Can they turn things around behind Tyler Wells?

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

“Let’s go play the AL Central,” they said. “Everyone beats up on the AL Central,” they said.

Apparently the Orioles did not get the memo that the other divisions are a lot weaker than their own, the behemoth AL East. Getting a reprieve from the Yankees and Rays of the world was supposed to be the Birds’ chance to rack up some victories, especially against a Central division that includes three losing clubs and one that’s barely over the .500 mark.

Instead, the O’s have played some of their worst baseball of the year against AL Central opponents. Remember when the Orioles were on a hot streak in May and then got swept by the Tigers? Now history is repeating itself with an even worse team, the Royals, who — despite having the second-worst record in the American League — have won the first two games over the reeling Birds.

We’re not in “the Orioles embarrassingly get swept out of town” territory just yet. There are still two games to go in this series, and the Birds could still salvage a split in the best case scenario. But they sure haven’t looked good so far, with both Jordan Lyles and Bruce Zimmermann suffering early exits on the mound and the Orioles’ offense going completely silent in last night’s blowout loss.

Tyler Wells, who has allowed just four runs and nine hits in his last 15 innings, will take the mound for the O’s, looking to play stopper. He’ll face former first round pick Daniel Lynch, who faced the Birds earlier this season and was chased in the fourth inning, allowing eight baserunners. There will be a new face in today’s Orioles lineup, as utility man Richie Martin makes his 2022 MLB debut to replace Ramon Urias, who landed on the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain. Martin was hitting well at Triple-A Norfolk, posting a .295/.382/.442 line in 41 games, though his previous stints in the majors in recent years haven’t gone well.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
LF Trey Mancini
RF Austin Hays
1B Ryan Mountcastle
DH Adley Rutschman
3B Tyler Nevin
C Robinson Chiniros
SS Jorge Mateo
2B Richie Martin

RHP Tyler Wells

Royals lineup:

2B Whit Merrifield
LF Andrew Benintendi
DH Salvador Perez
C MJ Melendez
1B Hunter Dozier
CF Michael A. Taylor
RF Kyle Isbel
3B Emmanuel Rivera
SS Nicky Lopez

LHP Daniel Lynch