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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: vs. Reds, 7:05pm ET.

The O’s send Kyle Gibson to the mound looking to take the series in tonight’s rubber match vs. Cincinnati.

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After two games in the first iteration of Elly De La Cruz’ Reds vs. Adley and Gunnar’s Orioles and things are all knotted up at a game a piece. In those first two contests, some of the young stars fared better than others. De La Cruz is 0-8 against Orioles pitching as the Reds offense has largely been held in check by Baltimore’s pitching staff. Gunnar only played in Game 2 after sitting versus left-hander Brandon Williamson in Game 1—and he managed to go 1-4 with a double but also struck out three times. Adley has found the most success so far of the young stars, going 2-7 with two RBIs and two walks.

Still, if the Orioles are going to get a win tonight and take home the series, their offense will need to play more like Game 1 than Game 2. After scoring 10 runs on Monday, the O’s only managed one run Tuesday—courtesy of a Ryan McKenna sac fly in the 2nd inning. The good news for Baltimore is that they’ll be facing the weakest of Cincinnati’s starters in veteran Luke Weaver.

The former Cardinal and Diamondback has particularly struggled in the month of June. After posting a 4.50 ERA in May, that number has ballooned to 10.80 over Weaver’s four starts in June. In three out of four of those starts, Weaver allowed 5+ earned runs and in none of the starts did he make it past the fifth inning.

Surprisingly, however, the Reds are 4-0 in those four starts despite Weaver’s struggles. Their offense has continually picked up their starter as the Reds are averaging 8.5 runs a game in Weaver’s June starts. The Orioles will send veteran leader Kyle Gibson to the mound looking to continue to slow down this usually hot Reds lineup. The 12-year vet is coming off his worst start of the season last time out against Seattle. The Mariners roughed up Gibson for five runs over three innings while giving up seven hits.

Gibson’s sinker and sweeper were hit particularly hard against the M’s and it should lead him to reconsider his pitch mix against the Reds. The hitters Cincinnati have rolled out in Games 1 and two have excelled this season at hitting all types of fastballs but struggled much more with off-speed offerings. After the Mariners failed to record a hit off Gibson’s change up, I would expect the big right-hander to lean more heavily on his best off-speed pitch tonight against a Reds team that doesn’t hit change ups well.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins (L) CF
  2. Adley Rutschman (S) C
  3. Anthony Santander (S) RF
  4. Ryan O’Hearn (L) 1B
  5. Austin Hays (R) LF
  6. Gunnar Henderson (L) SS
  7. Aaron Hicks (S) DH
  8. Jordan Westburg (R) 3B
  9. Adam Frazier (L) 2B

Starting pitcher: Kyle Gibson (8-3, 4.30 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)

Reds Lineup

  1. TJ Friedl (L) CF
  2. Matt McClain (R) SS
  3. Jonathan India (R) 2B
  4. Elly De La Cruz (S) 3B
  5. Jake Fraley (L) RF
  6. Joey Votto (L) DH
  7. Spencer Steer (R) 1B
  8. Tyler Stephenson (R) C
  9. Will Benson (L) LF

Starting pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-2, 6.86 ERA, 1.59)