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Saturday night Orioles game thread: at Mariners, 9:40 ET

Cole Irvin makes his first start in more than a month as the O’s look to slow the Mariners’ roll.

Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Orioles, after playing Thursday afternoon in Baltimore and then flying to the west coast for a Friday night game in Seattle, looked — as you might expect — like a team suffering from jet lag. They gave up nine runs and scored only two in a forgettable opener against the Mariners, who have now won eight in a row.

Hopefully the O’s have gotten some more rest, because game two won’t be much easier. All-Star right-hander George Kirby takes the mound for the M’s, sporting a 3.32 ERA and an MLB-best 0.9 BB/9. Kirby simply doesn’t walk people, so the Birds are going to have to hit their way aboard. They’ll be doing it with a lineup that doesn’t include Gunnar Henderson. The rookie infielder has been in a mini-slump of late, with just two hits in his last 21 at-bats. The O’s did manage to defeat Kirby back on June 25, despite his throwing a quality start.

Meanwhile, the Orioles — who have temporarily shifted to a six-man rotation to reduce workload on their younger arms — will counter with Cole Irvin, making his first start since July 7. Irvin has been much improved since his sabbatical at Triple-A Norfolk in April and May. He has a 3.57 ERA and just nine walks in 35.1 innings since his return to the Orioles, as opposed to a 10.66 ERA and eight walks in 12.2 innings beforehand. On paper, though, tonight isn’t a good matchup for him. The Mariners have torched Irvin for a .944 OPS, an 8.42 ERA, and have beaten him in all six of his career starts against them, as John Beers noted in the series preview.

Earlier today, the Rays walked off the Guardians for the second straight game, overcoming a two-run deficit in the ninth against All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase. Those jerks. If the O’s lose tonight, their AL East lead will be reduced to just one game. So...let’s win, OK?

Orioles lineup:

C Adley Rutschman
CF Cedric Mullins
RF Anthony Santander
DH Ryan Mountcastle
1B Ryan O’Hearn
LF Austin Hays
2B Adam Frazier
3B Jordan Westburg
SS Jorge Mateo

LHP Cole Irvin

Mariners lineup:

CF Julio Rodríguez
3B Eugenio Suarez
1B Ty France
DH Cal Raleigh
RF Teoscar Hernandez
C Tom Murphy
SS Dylan Moore
LF Sam Haggerty
2B José Caballero

RHP George Kirby