clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs. Royals, 1:35pm ET

After two dominant pitching performances in Games 1 and 2, the O’s will look to shut down the Royals lineup once again and earn a sweep.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After some troubling performances in their previous home stand against Texas and Cleveland, the Orioles pitching really needed to bounce back against in this series against Kansas City. The Royals, with the league’s third-worst offense by runs per game and second worst record, have proven to be the perfect “get right” team for this O’s pitching staff. Over the first two games of the series, Orioles starters allowed only three runs combined and the bullpen has yet to concede a run to the Royals hitters. If the pitching staff can put together one more strong outing today, the Orioles will earn their fourth sweep of the season and first since May 21st.

Leading the charge for Baltimore will be veteran leader of the pitching staff Kyle Gibson. When the Orioles brought Gibson in to replace Jordan Lyles as the veteran arm amongst an increasingly young rotation, many viewed it as an uninspiring lateral move. After a little over a third of the season, the move’s now proven to be an unquestionable success. Through 13 starts, Gibson has a 3.87 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP and the O’s are 8-5 in games Gibson started. Through 13 starts last year, Lyles had a 5.10 ERA, a 1.52 WHIP and Baltimore was 5-8 in Lyles’ starts. Perhaps more importantly, this season Lyles—who will be sitting in the opposing dugout Sunday—has a 6.84 ERA and the Royals haven’t won any of his starts.

As a long time member of the Twins, Gibson also has plenty of experience against Kansas City. His 149 career innings pitched against the Royals are more than any other opponent. Gibson has found plenty of success throughout those match-ups against KC, going 10-6 with a 3.99 ERA. However, the 11-year vet's last start against the Royals didn’t go as planned, as he gave up six runs over 6.2 innings in his worst start of this season.

Unfortunately for all of Birdland and lovers of poetic justice, Lyles won’t be opposing Gibson for the Royals. In fact the Royals look to be opting for a bullpen game as they try to avoid the sweep. Their scheduled “starter” is Carlos Hernández—a fourth-year reliever who the Royals used as an opener on three previous occasions this season. In each of those three appearances, Hernández pitched two inning and has yet to allow a run as opener. The flame-throwing righty from Venezuela also has two previous appearances against the O’s this season. He compiled two innings across those appearances, allowing only one hit, no runs and striking out three.

While Hernández has been effective both as an opener and against Baltimore, the prospect of facing a full nine innings against the Royals bullpen is an enticing opportunity for the Orioles’ lineup. The KC bullpen is the second worst in the majors with a 4.86 ERA—thought they are second only to the Orioles with 283 Ks. If Orioles hitters can be patient and avoid chasing pitches against this volatile Royals’ pitching staff, they should find plenty of success and build upon their six-run outburst in Saturday’s win.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Gunnar Henderson (L) SS
  2. Anthony Santander (S) DH
  3. Austin Hays (R) LF
  4. Ryan O’Hearn (L) RF
  5. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
  6. Ramón Urías (R) 3B
  7. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
  8. Josh Lester (L) 1B
  9. James McCann (R) C

Starting pitcher: Kyle Gibson (7-3, 3.87 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Royals Lineup

  1. Nick Pratto (L) 1B
  2. Salvador Perez (R) C
  3. MJ Melendez (L) RF
  4. Bobby Witt Jr. (R) DH
  5. Michael Massey (L) 2B
  6. Edward OIivares (R) LF
  7. Drew Waters (S) CF
  8. Maikel Garcia (R) SS
  9. Nicky Lopez (L) 3B

Starting pitcher: Carlos Hernández (0-3, 4.31 ERA, 1.09)