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Orioles Little League Classic game thread: vs. Red Sox, 7:10

The O’s play on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball tonight for the first time in four years. It’s time to show the nation what they’re made of.

Little League Classic
Adley Rutschman greets his adoring fans in Williamsport, Pa.
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

You guys, tonight is gonna be awesome.

The Orioles and Red Sox wrap up their three-game series this evening in the fifth annual Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. And it’s taken no time at all for the O’s to get into the spirit of things, from meeting their favorite Little Leaguers...

...to taking in the action at the Little League World Series...

...to trying their hand at the time-honored LLWS tradition of cardboard box sledding.

It’s been a blast so far, even if that last one makes me a little nervous. Nobody wants to see a headline like, “Half of Orioles’ roster placed on injured list after horrific hillside pileup.” Fortunately, it appears everyone survived unscathed.

But don’t let the care-free festivities overshadow the fact that this is a critically important game for both teams, each trying to claw its way back into the postseason race. The Orioles sit three games behind the Rays and Blue Jays, each of whom have already played today, for the third Wild Card spot. They’ll need a win tonight to cut that margin to 2.5 games. The Red Sox, meanwhile, refuse to go away, even though there have been multiple occasions this year in which they seemed to be hopelessly buried. A Sox win would pull them up to a .500 record and within 1.5 games of the Birds.

This marks the Orioles’ first appearance on Sunday Night Baseball since 2018, when they were just beginning a historically horrific four years of baseball. How times have changed. The O’s enter tonight’s game as one of the most fun and most surprising teams in baseball, intent on showing a national audience that they’re a force to be reckoned with.

The action begins at 7:10 on ESPN. See you there.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
C Adley Rutschman
DH Anthony Santander
1B Ryan Mountcastle
LF Kyle Stowers
3B Ramón Urías
RF Austin Hays
2B Rougned Odor
SS Jorge Mateo

RHP Dean Kremer

Red Sox lineup:

LF Tommy Pham
RF Alex Verdugo
SS Xander Bogaerts
3B Rafael Devers
DH J.D. Martinez
2B Christian Arroyo
CF Enrique Hernandez
1B Bobby Dalbec
C Kevin Plawecki

RHP Nick Pivetta