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Saturday night Orioles game thread: vs. Yankees, 7:05

After a thrilling Friday home opener, the Birds try for the series win at home with Cole Irvin lining up against Jhony Brito in Game 2.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Cole Irvin and Adley Rutschman, tonight’s batterymates.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

After last night’s come-from-behind 7-6 win against the Yankees, the Orioles can lock down their home opening series with a win tonight. Left-handed starter Cole Irvin makes his second start as an Oriole against rookie Jhony Brito, currently the Yankees’ No. 27 prospect.

Brito, 25, has just one career MLB start—but it was a good one. Last week he shut out the San Francisco Giants over five innings, whiffing six and allowing just two hits and a walk. According to MLB Pipeline, Brito’s fastball velocity jumped in 2022, averaging around 94-96 mph with some run. He complements it with a mid-80s changeup. Brito is not prone to walking many hitters, averaging a 1.9 BB/9 walk rate over his minor league career. He reportedly “doesn’t have as much feel” for his slider or curveball, however, leading some to view him as more of a multi-inning reliever than a starter.

Several Orioles starter have had disappointing 2023 debuts so far before improving the second time around. Cole Irvin will hope for the same in his second Orioles start: against the Red Sox on April 2 he allowed six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. Irvin, 29, has made just one career start against New York, allowing five runs in seven innings. Josh Donaldson has hit Irvin in the past, but he was placed on the 15-day IL with a hamstring strain just this morning.

For the boys in orange, Jorge Mateo is out of tonight’s lineup with a sore ankle, but Brandon Hyde says he’s available if needed. Adley Rutschman is catching and batting second. This might confirm reports that right-handed catcher James McCann (oblique) will be ready to return from the injured list for Sunday’s day game. With Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes getting the Sunday start, McCann certainly seems a better bet in the lineup than left-handed backstop Anthony Bemboom, who’s been spelling Rutschman in the meantime.

In other news, before tonight’s game two Orioles will receive 2022 hardware, Ramón Urías his Rawlings Gold Glove and Brandon Hyde his AL Manager of the Year awards from Baseball America and Sporting News.

The Orioles beat is also reporting that Grayson Rodriguez will stay on turn, following Tyler Wells on Sunday and Kyle Gibson on Monday, to make Tuesday night’s start against the Athletics. Asked this afternoon whether Rodriguez would get the start on his scheduled T-shirt night, Hyde said it’s “probable” and that “I hope we have 47,000 people for that.” You heard him, Birdland. Make it happen!

Orioles lineup

Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Gunnar Henderson SS
Austin Hays LF
Adam Frazier 2B
Ramón Urías 3B
Terrin Vavra RF

Cole Irvin LHP

Yankees lineup

DJ LeMahieu 3B
Aaron Judge CF
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Gleyber Torres 2B
Oswaldo Cabrera RF
Aaron Hicks LF
Kyle Higashioka C
Anthony Volpe SS

Jhony Brito RHP