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

Kyle Bradish looks to lead the O’s to their eighth-straight win and a sweep over the NL’s third-best team.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With consecutive series against three of baseball’s top six teams, everyone knew the Orioles’ start to second half wasn’t going to be easy. A sweep to start off that second half would sure be a nice statement of intent from the surging O’s.

That’s exactly what Baltimore plays for today, as they look to sweep the visiting Miami Marlins and complete their sixth sweep of the season. While the Orioles haven’t continued the offensive outbursts that saw them score 14 runs in the Bronx and 15 runs in Minnesota, the first two games of the series have followed a familiar formula. The Orioles fall behind early, claw their way back with timely hitting and a few home runs, and then turn things over to best 8th-9th inning combo in baseball.

Fortunately for the O’s, they might not have to worry about falling behind as they send their hottest starter to the mound in Kyle Bradish. The second-year right-hander has dominated opponents over his last nine starts—posting a 2.51 ERA, .216 BAA and striking out 47 in 46.2 innings.

Bradish is coming off only his second scoreless start of the season, as he limited the Yankees to three-hits over six shutout innings in the game where the O’s exploded for 14 runs. The Marlins might pose a bigger challenge for Bradish, as top hitters Luis Arraez, Jorge Soler and Bryan De La Cruz all handle breaking balls well—and Bradish’s go-to pitches are his slider and curveball.

A problem for the Orioles in Bradish starts this season are providing their starter with enough run support. In seven of his 15 starts prior to his outing in New York, the Orioles had yet to score when the Bradish exited the game. The Marlins will look to further that trend with left-hander Steven Okert getting the start today. Okert will act as an opener as the Marlins look to have a bullpen day to close out the series. This should be good news for the O’s offense as the Marlins bullpen ranks only 19th in MLB with a 4.15 ERA.

The bad news for the O’s lineup is that Cedric Mullins won’t be manning CF today after leaving Saturday’s game with right quad tightness. Mullins is hitting .409 with a HR and 6 RBIs during the Orioles’ current win streak. Rookie Colton Cowser replaces him in the lineup as today will mark Cowser’s first start in Camden Yards.

Orioles Lineup

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

Starting pitcher: Kyle Bradish (5-4, 3.32 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

Marlins Lineup

  1. Luiz Arraez (L) 2B
  2. Jorge Soler (R) RF
  3. Garrett Cooper (R) DH
  4. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
  5. Bryan De La Cruz (R) LF
  6. Jean Segura (R) 3B
  7. Joey Wendle (L) SS
  8. Jacob Stallings (R) C
  9. Dane Myers (R) CF

Starting pitcher: Steven Okert (3-0, 2.43 ERA, 0.87 WHIP)