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Thursday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Royals, 2:10 ET

The Orioles need a win today to seal their eighth straight series win before the schedule gets a whole lot tougher.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox
Today would be a great day for Grayson Rodriguez to overpower some hitters.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This is it. The Orioles’ last breath of air before taking the plunge into the most daunting portion of their schedule.

Starting tomorrow, the O’s play 22 consecutive games against teams that currently have winning records, including four teams that are now leading their respective divisions. It promises to be an absolutely brutal, unforgiving gauntlet that will test the Orioles for everything they’re worth.

So what do you say we beat up on a bad team one last time before then, huh? For old times’ sake?

The O’s wrap up their three-game set in Kansas City this afternoon, and disappointingly, they’re in danger of losing the series after a woeful 6-0 loss last night in which they did almost nothing right. They were shut out for the first time, losing to a Royals club that had been 1-13 at home and a starter, Zack Greinke, who had entered the game with a 6.10 ERA.

If the Birds’ bats go cold again today, it’d be an especially tough pill to swallow against Jordan Lyles, the 2022 O’s hurler who the Orioles declined to bring back for this season. That decision is looking like a wise one so far — Lyles is 0-5 with a 6.11 ERA in six starts — but here’s hoping the former father figure of the O’s pitching staff doesn’t decide to enact his revenge this afternoon.

He’ll face off against Grayson Rodriguez, who earned his first major league win last time out in Detroit. Rodriguez has gotten gradually better with each passing outing, so perhaps he’ll have something special in store today against a mostly punchless Royals offense.

Orioles lineup

CF Cedric Mullins
DH Adley Rutschman
1B Ryan Mountcastle
RF Anthony Santander
LF Kyle Stowers
2B Adam Frazier
SS Jorge Mateo
3B Gunnar Henderson
C James McCann

RHP Grayson Rodriguez

Royals lineup

SS Bobby Witt Jr.
1B Vinnie Pasquantino
DH Salvador Perez
RF MJ Melendez
LF Nick Pratto
3B Maikel Garcia
2B Michael Massey
CF Kyle Isbel
C Felix Fermin

RHP Jordan Lyles