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Saturday evening Orioles game thread: vs Mariners, 4:05

Cedric Mullins returns and Dean Kremer heads to the hill as the Orioles look to even up the series with the visiting M’s.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

There was some good news ahead of this one. First, it’s no longer Friday. The opening game of this series was disgusting, and I don’t care to speak about it ever again. Second, and far more important, Cedric Mullins is back!!

The Orioles managed the 20 games without Mullins in acceptable fashion. They went 11-9, and lucked into Yankees castoff Aaron Hicks, who has played some of the best baseball of his career these last three weeks. But there is no doubt that Mullins’ return is a huge boost to this lineup. There’s an argument to be made that he was the Orioles most important player prior to his injury. If he can pick back up where he left off, this offense will be a whole lot more menacing.

Wet conditions are expected for much of the afternoon and evening around Baltimore. It seems that worst of the rain happened earlier in the day, so perhaps it won’t impact the game too much.

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins, DH
  2. Adley Rutschman, C
  3. Anthony Santander, RF
  4. Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
  5. Austin Hays, LF
  6. Gunnar Henderson, SS
  7. Aaron Hicks, CF
  8. Ramón Urías, 3B
  9. Adam Frazier, 2B

Dean Kremer, RHP (8-3, 4.56 ERA)

Mullins goes back atop the order, where he belongs. But he will not be in center field. Brandon Hyde edited his original lineup, moving Mullins to DH in his second draft. That would seem to indicate that the Orioles either don’t love the weather forecast, or think the outfield has already taken on more water than they like. Whatever the case, Mullins won’t be the one tracking balls on the slick grass this evening.

Gunnar Henderson is the shortstop tonight, giving Jorge Mateo and his ice cold bat (1-for-16 in last five games) the night off. Henderson is also pushed five spots down in the lineup from leadoff to the six hole. That feels like a rather steep demotion for a player that has been performing, but it’s also hard to argue that any of the top five hitters should be moved. Adley Rutschman is the coldest of the bunch (0-for-10 last three games), but he’s a guy you don’t move.

Mariners Starting Lineup

  1. J.P. Crawford, SS
  2. Julio Rodríguez, CF
  3. Ty France, 1B
  4. Teoscar Hernández, RF
  5. Jarred Kelenic, LF
  6. Eugenio Suárez, 3B
  7. Cal Raleigh, C
  8. Mike Ford, DH
  9. Kolton Wong, 2B

Bryce Miller, RHP (5-3, 3.68 ERA)