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Tuesday night Orioles game thread: at Phillies, 6:40

Ex-Phillie Kyle Gibson takes the mound against his former team, looking to pitch the O’s to a series win.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Orioles’ seven-game road trip through Tampa Bay and Philadelphia has already been a success, as last night’s improbable win over the Phillies clinched a winning trip with two games still to play. Tonight the O’s will look for the series win against the NL East club, with Kyle Gibson, who pitched for the Phillies from 2021-22, going against the club for the first time since he left. (Alternate headline: Phormer Phillie phaces phightin’ Philadelphians.)

Gibson pitched well in his last start against the Rays, leaving the mound with a 3-1 lead in the seventh before the bullpen let his inherited runners score to tie the game, but overall the veteran righty has struggled of late. He has a 7.03 ERA in his last six starts, though his 3.94 FIP implies he’s been getting quite unlucky. In his career at Citizens Bank Park, he has a 4.65 ERA, 1.257 WHIP, and a .731 OPS and 18 homers against him in 23 games.

The Orioles are down another outfielder after Aaron Hicks landed on the 10-day injured list this afternoon with a left hamstring strain, which he suffered while making a diving “catch” in Monday’s opener. With Cedric Mullins still sidelined as well, the Orioles recalled Ryan McKenna from Triple-A Norfolk. McKenna is probably the best defensive center fielder on the current roster but won’t be starting much against right-handed pitchers, so he’ll likely platoon with Colton Cowser.

For those who are doing some July scoreboard watching, the Rays — currently 2.5 games behind the O’s for first place — will be hosting the struggling Marlins for a brief two-game set tonight and tomorrow. Let’s go Fish!

Orioles lineup:

SS Gunnar Henderson
C Adley Rutschman
RF Anthony Santander
1B Ryan O’Hearn
DH Ryan Mountcastle
2B Adam Frazier
LF Austin Hays
CF Colton Cowser
3B Jordan Westburg

RHP Kyle Gibson

If Mullins and Hicks weren’t both injured, perhaps the slumping Hays — who’s batting .107 with a .276 OPS in his last eight games — would be able to get a day off. Instead, the O’s will have to settle for moving him down in the lineup, this time to seventh. Mountcastle gets a start against a righty ahead of Ramón Urías, who joins a light-hitting bench that features McKenna, Jorge Mateo, and James McCann.

Phillies lineup:

DH Kyle Schwarber
SS Trea Turner
1B Bryce Harper
RF Nick Castellanos
2B Bryson Stott
C J.T. Realmuto
3B Alec Bohm
LF Brandon Marsh
CF Johan Rojas

RHP Taijuan Walker

These guys are plenty familiar with Gibson as a person — all but Turner and Rojas were teammates with him last year — but not many have faced him from the other side of the field. Only Castellanos has an extensive history against Gibson, hitting .233 with two home runs in 43 at-bats.