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Thursday night Orioles game thread: at Guardians, 6:10

Gunnar plays short, Bradish takes the mound, and Aguilar debuts for the Birds. Let’s get this series!

Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Storylines abound in the rubber match of this three-game set in Cleveland.

Gunnar Henderson moves up slightly in the batting order and makes his first big league appearance at shortstop. Related to that, Jorge Mateo gets a day off, giving the Orioles the ultimate baserunning weapon in a tight game.

Right after Henderson in the order is new slugger Jesús Aguilar, recently signed following a dreadful season with the Marlins. The Orioles will be hoping that Aguilar can recapture whatever it was that made him a 111 OPS+ hitter a season ago and bring it to a lineup that needs a jolt.

Kyle Bradish takes the hill, looking to replicate his most recent start. That is when he tossed eight shutout innings against the vaunted Houston Astros. August was his finest month in the big leagues so far. Let’s hope that magic carries into the first day of September.

Opposing the rookie is his future teammate, Shane Bieber. The 27-year-old could be on the trade block this winter. He has two seasons of team control remaining, but Cleveland has made a habit of trading away the never-ending supply of quality arms in recent years. Baltimore could be shopping for an ace soon, and they have plenty of prospect capital to swing a deal.

Bieber’s fastball velocity has decreased for a second consecutive season, but he remains a force on the mound, and he is coming off of an outstanding month of August.

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Adley Rutschman, C
  3. Anthony Santander, RF
  4. Ramón Urías, 3B
  5. Gunnar Henderson, SS
  6. Jesús Aguilar, DH
  7. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
  8. Rougned Odor, 2B
  9. Terrin Vavra, LF

Kyle Bradish, RHP (2-5, 5.63 ERA)

Guardians Starting Lineup

  1. Steven Kwan, LF
  2. Amed Rosario, SS
  3. José Ramírez, 3B
  4. Josh Naylor, 1B
  5. Oscar Gonzalez, RF
  6. Andrés Giménez, 2B
  7. Owen Miller, DH
  8. Austin Hedges, C
  9. Myles Straw, CF

Shane Bieber, RHP (8-7, 3.02 ERA)