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Friday night Orioles game thread: vs. Pirates, 7:05pm ET

Fresh off a series win over baseball’s best team, the O’s welcome a slumping Pittsburgh team to Camden Yards

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Two weeks ago, the Orioles and Pirates were two of the hottest teams in baseball with the Buccos at 18-8 and O’s just behind at 17-8. There were many questions around the greater MLB landscape about the legitimacy of these early over-performers. Since then, the Orioles have continued to win, taking three out of four series and going 7-5. The Pirates, on the other hand, have fallen back to earth, losing nine of their last 10 and going 3-9 overall. Pittsburgh still sit atop the NL Central and come to Camden Yards tonight with a point to prove, while the O’s continue to try and chase down the Rays atop the AL East.

Like his opponents, Orioles starter Kyle Bradish is looking to rebound from a rough patch of form. In his only start of the season at Camden Yards, Bradish was shelled by the Red Sox, giving up seven runs and only recording seven outs. The second-year right-hander has been better in his last two starts, but still was not at his best. He allowed three runs while striking out five in 4.2 innings against Detroit, before again allowing three runs in five innings against the Braves. After getting six innings from Dean Kremer on Wednesday and getting an off day yesterday, the O’s bullpen is well rested. Still, Brandon Hyde will be hoping Bradish provides him a little more length tonight against Pittsburgh.

Bradish’s opposing number for Pittsburgh is 25-year old Cuban righty Johan Oviedo. After posting a 3.21 ERA between St. Louis and Pittsburgh last season, Oviedo has had a more difficult start to 2023. In his last three starts, Oviedo has allowed 19 runs (17 earned) over 12.2 innings while allowing opponents to hit ,397 off him. The Pirates starter relies mostly on a slider/fastball/curveball combo, throwing one of his breaking balls 61% of the time. The matchup against Oviedo should be particularly advantageous for Orioles’ leadoff hitter Cedric Mullins. The O’s center fielder has a .265 average and .490 slugging percentage off breaking balls this season with seven of his 13 extra-bases coming off sliders and curves.

While the Pirates last visited Camden Yards as recently as the 2022 season, it’ll be the first time 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen comes to Baltimore since 2017. McCutchen has historically been a thorn in the Orioles side, with a career .370 average against Baltimore—though that drops to .317 at Camden Yards. However, perhaps McCutchen’s presence in the lineup could be a good omen for Birdland tonight. When he last came to Baltimore in 2017, the Orioles were walkoff winners in both games.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins (L) CF
  2. Adley Rutschman (S) C
  3. Anthony Santander (S) RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
  5. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
  6. Austin Hays (R) LF
  7. Gunnar Henderson (L) 3B
  8. Jorge Mateo (R) SS
  9. Kyle Stowers (L) RF

Starting Pitcher: Kyle Bradish (1-1, 5.95 ERA, 1.73 WHIP)

Pirates Lineup

  1. Ke’Bryan Hayes (R) 3B
  2. Bryan Reynolds (S) LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen (R) DH
  4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
  5. Jack Suwinski (L) CF
  6. Connor Joe (R) RF
  7. Tucupita Marcano (L)
  8. Ji Hwan Bae (L) 2B
  9. Austin Hedges (R) C

Starting Pitcher: Johan Oviedo (2-3, 5.59 ERA, 1.62 WHIP)