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Saturday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs Royals, 4:05 ET

Welcome back, Cole Irvin! Hope you can stabilize the rotation.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Today we see the return of Cole Irvin. Acquired from the A’s this past offseason, the fifth-year veteran joined the Orioles with lots of good vibes and good teammate energy, but he seemed to be having a rough time controlling his stuff. In three starts in April, Irvin had a 10.66 ERA. His WHIP was a massive 2.00, with lots of hard contact allowed and too many free passes handed out: eight in 13 innings. The front office was concerned, and they optioned him to Triple-A to figure out what was going on.

Since then, better. Irvin has made 7 starts as a Norfolk Tide, with much improved results. He’s 6-1 with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and only 4 walks in 42 innings down in Triple-A. We know that, from Triple-A to the MLB is a massive jump in the quality of hitters, but hopefully, to quote our own Tyler Young, the Royals will give Irvin a “soft landing.”

If Irvin can be solid, even if not brilliant, it’ll be a great thing for the Orioles rotation. With Grayson Rodriguez back in Norfolk to figure stuff out, the Orioles have been short a starter. A return to form from the lefty would be a big boost.

On the bump opposite Irvin will be the right-hander Brady Singer. In 12 starts this season, the 2018 first-rounder has an unsightly ERA (6.45) but is striking out a decent 8.4 batters per game. However, he’s allowing too many walks (3.45/9), too many home runs (1.2/9), and too many hits (10.50/9). His last start against the Rockies, though, was a good one: he K’d seven and allowed no runs. More of the hittable stuff today, please.

Orioles lineup

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

Royals lineup

1. Nick Pratto 1B
2. Salvador Perez DH
3. MJ Melendez RF
4. Bobby Witt, Jr. SS
5. Maikel García 3B
6. Michael Massey 2B
7. Edward Olivares LF
8. Drew Waters CF
9. Freddy Fermin C