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Orioles Game #39 Game Thread: vs. Pirates, 7:05

The Orioles try to get a fourth win in a row on Saturday night

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Although it looked for a little while on Friday night like the Orioles were going to disappoint the folks who showed up for the inaugural game with the Bird Bath Splash Zone, things turned out fun for that part of the crowd and for everybody else, capped by Cedric Mullins delivering a crucial few insurance runs by homering to complete the seventh cycle in Orioles history.

Can they make it another fun one here on Saturday? Another win over the Pirates would certainly be a great way to do that, making it four wins in a row. People might be getting wet outside of Section 86 at Camden Yards, depending on how the weather ultimately shakes out. The tarp was on the field earlier on Saturday afternoon and rain could linger in the area until around first pitch.

It’ll be up to the batters to give the newly-christened Mr. Splash work to do in this particular game. They’re going up against Pirates starter Roansy Contreras. The 23-year-old Pirates righty has NOT been terribly homer-prone so far this year, allowing just two homers across his first seven starts this season. That is not a great early sign for the splashing. On the other hand, he is giving up a lot of hits, so maybe they can get some doubles after people walk - since Contreras also walks a lot of batters, or at least has so far this year.

If Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wells can put together a good outing, that will obviously also help the team’s chances of picking up another victory. Wells has been the team’s best starting pitcher so far this season. He’ll be facing a Pirates team that’s OPSing just .573 so far in May, over a 200 point drop-off from their hitting in April. Keep that slumping team down, fellas.

As a little curiosity, this game will not have Brandon Hyde as the manager, as he has gone to attend his daughter’s graduation from Syracuse. He’s expected to be back tomorrow. Bench coach Fredi González, himself a former MLB manager, will be making the decisions tonight. He told Orioles reporters before the game that he hopes Wells can go nine innings so that he can hand Hyde a fully rested bullpen for tomorrow.

The Rays have already lost on Saturday afternoon, so that means that the Orioles have themselves what has up to this point been a rare chance to gain ground on MLB’s hottest team.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Adley Rutschman - C
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  5. Adam Frazier - 2B
  6. Austin Hays - LF
  7. Gunnar Henderson - 3B
  8. Jorge Mateo - SS
  9. Ryan O’Hearn - DH

I made a face when I saw that Frazier was batting fifth in yesterday’s lineup, and I’ve made the same face here today with Frazier in that spot again. It just doesn’t feel ideal! One can’t complain too much after the fun that we had in that Friday game. Frazier was fine, as he walked twice in the game. But also, you know, designated hitter Ryan O’Hearn doesn’t feel too good either.

Pirates lineup

  1. Ke’Bryan Hayes - 3B
  2. Bryan Reynolds - LF
  3. Connor Joe - RF
  4. Carlos Santana - 1B
  5. Jack Suwinski - CF
  6. Miguel Andujar - DH
  7. Ji Hwan Bae - 2B
  8. Chris Owings - SS
  9. Jason Delay - C