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Tuesday night Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 7:10

An Orioles win tonight would guarantee both a .500 season for the O’s and a losing season for the Red Sox. Both would be fun.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Guardians
Can Kyle Bradish one-up his 8.2-inning masterpiece last week?
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in six years, the Orioles are on the verge of doing something special: not losing more games than they win. A victory tonight would be the Birds’ 81st of the season, guaranteeing they’ll finish the 2022 season with at least a .500 record.

It might not sound like much. But for an O’s team that has suffered through six straight losing years — and, not too long ago, 14 straight — a .500 record is nothing to scoff at. The Orioles’ ultimate goal should, and will, be to finish considerably better than merely .500. But for now, it’s a good starting point, especially for a club that was expected to end up 30-40 games below that threshold this season.

An O’s win today would also be Boston’s 82nd loss, clinching a losing season for the Red Sox. Too bad, so sad. It would assure that the Orioles would finish in no worse than a tie for fourth place in the AL East. Again, the Orioles have much higher aspirations for the future, but that’ll do nicely for the present.

Kyle Bradish will be facing the Red Sox for the fifth time this season, coming off a brilliant, 8.2-inning, near-shutout of the Astros. He has yet to beat the Red Sox this year, though by all rights he should have done so in his last outing against them, a hard-luck 1-0 loss in which Bradish worked seven excellent innings. If the Orioles can flash the kind of lumber they showed in last night’s series opener, Bradish won’t have to worry about a lack of run support again.

For those who haven’t given up hope in the wild card race, the Orioles’ nearest competitors, the Mariners, begin a season-ending 10-game homestand tonight against the Rangers. The O’s, 3.5 games behind Seattle, have just nine games remaining to leapfrog the Mariners.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
C Adley Rutschman
LF Anthony Santander
1B Ryan Mountcastle
SS Gunnar Henderson
3B Ramon Urias
2B Rougned Odor
RF Austin Hays
DH Kyle Stowers

RHP Kyle Bradish

Red Sox lineup:

LF Tommy Pham
3B Rafael Devers
SS Xander Bogaerts
RF Alex Verdugo
DH J.D. Martinez
1B Triston Casas
CF Rob Refsnyder
2B Enrique Hernandez
C Connor Wong

RHP Michael Wacha