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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: 7:05pm ET vs. Tigers

The O’s will look to avoid a sweep against Detroit and keep from potentially falling six games back of Seattle in the Wild Card race.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s just get the bad news out of the way first. The Orioles lost the opening two games of this series to the Tigers—the second worst team in the American League. Lefties Tyler Alexander and Joey Wentz for Detroit completely befuddled an Orioles lineup that has struggle all season against left-handed pitching. In 12.2 innings against Detroit’s starters this series, the Orioles have yet to score a run. All of this while the dreams of Wild Card birth remain tantalizingly within reach—while it also becomes more and more clear that those dreams won’t become reality. Ok, the bad news is done.

Here’s the good news: despite those two losses to Detroit, the Orioles have only lost one game worth of ground on Seattle in that Wild Card race. If you had hope of a playoff birth before this series started, there are still enough reasons to not give up all hope. Additionally, the Orioles young studs—Adley Rutschman and GUNNAR HENDERSON—continue to prove why they are worthy of being seen as saviors of the franchise. Despite the O’s being 8-10 in September, Rutschman has put up his best month of the season with a .290 batting average and a .913 OPS.

Not to be outdone, HENDERSON has continued to show he belongs at the big league level despite being the youngest player in the MLB. Since his callup on August 31st, his triple slash line of .319/.373/.939 puts him in the company of players like Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner—the top middle infielders in all of baseball. Clearly Brandon Hyde has seen enough to move GUNNAR up in the lineup again, as he’ll hit third tonight.

The other good news is that the Orioles finally get to face a righty tonight. Detroit will send former top-10 pick Matt Manning to the mound Wednesday. After missing most of the first four months of the season to a shoulder injury, Manning has formidable foe over his last nine starts. The towering right-hander has a 3.44 ERA since coming back from injury and is holding opponents to .238 average and .627 OPS over that time. In his only previous career start against Baltimore, Manning got the win, going six innings while allowing three runs. He was susceptible to the long ball in that game, allowing two home runs so the Orioles should look to launch a few bombs tonight. Between the hope for homers and the (usually) steadying presence of a Jordan Lyles home start, the O’s should be able to salvage a win in game three.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins (L) CF
  2. Adley Rutschman (S) DH
  3. Gunnar Henderson (L) SS
  4. Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
  5. Terrin Vavra (L) 2B
  6. Austin Hays (R) LF
  7. Kyle Stowers (L) RF
  8. Ramon Urias (R) 3B
  9. Robinson Chirinos (R) C

Starting Pitcher: Jordan Lyles (10-11, 4.70 ERA, 129 Ks)

Tigers Lineup

  1. Riley Green (L) CF
  2. Javier Baez (R) SS
  3. Kerry Carpenter (l) RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera (R) DH
  5. Spencer Torkleson (R) 1B
  6. Harold Castro (L) 2B
  7. Jaimer Candelario (S) 3B
  8. Tucker Barnhart (L) C
  9. Akil Baddoo (L) LF

Starting Pitcher: Matt Manning (2-2, 3.28 ERA, 44 Ks)