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Saturday night Orioles game thread: at Athletics, 9:07 ET

Cole Irvin takes on his former team as the Orioles look to clinch a winning west coast trip.

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Last night, the Orioles kicked off their series against the lowly Athletics exactly as you would’ve hoped, with a decisive 9-4 victory in which their offense roared back to life after a sluggish west coast trip to that point. After six games of facing ace-caliber opposing pitchers, the O’s went hog wild against a brigade of struggling A’s hurlers. The Birds swiftly eliminated the remote possibility that the A’s would end their streak of consecutive series not being swept, which is now at 79 and counting.

With that out of the way, the O’s can focus on trying to clinch a series win, and with it, a winning road trip. And they’ll be sending out a guy who’s very familiar with the Oakland Coliseum mound: Cole Irvin, who spent the past two seasons pitching for the A’s. The cavernous ballpark has always been friendly to Irvin, who has a 3.44 in 32 career games there, as opposed to 5.21 in 66 games everywhere else. Irvin is coming off his best start of the year, tossing five scoreless innings in Seattle last time out.

The A’s will counter with lefty Ken Waldichuk, who recently re-entered the Oakland rotation after being bounced from it back in May. In 16 starts this year, Waldichuk has only two quality starts, and one of them came against the Orioles. That was back on April 12, when he worked a season-high 6.1 innings and held the Birds to three runs in an Athletics win. Waldichuk has a 6.07 ERA, 10.2 H/9, and 5.1 BB/9 this year. If the Orioles get dominated by this guy again, they have only themselves to blame.

The Rays lost the first game of a doubleheader against the Angels today, which temporarily extends the Orioles’ AL East lead to 2.5 games. Game two of Tampa Bay’s twin bill will get underway the same time as the Birds.

Orioles lineup:

DH Adley Rutschman
1B Ryan Mountcastle
3B Gunnar Henderson
2B Jordan Westburg
LF Austin Hays
CF Cedric Mullins
C James McCann
RF Ryan McKenna
SS Jorge Mateo

LHP Cole Irvin

Aaron Hicks, who re-injured himself in his return from the injured list on Monday, went back on the IL today. Ryan McKenna was summoned back from Triple-A Norfolk and plugged straight into the starting lineup in place of Anthony Santander, who exited last night’s game early with “general soreness.” With lefties Ryan O’Hearn and Adam Frazier not starting against the southpaw Waldichuk, that leads to this weird-looking lineup. Westburg is batting cleanup for the first time in his young major league career.

Athletics lineup:

CF Esteury Ruiz
2B Zack Gelof
1B Carlos Pérez
RF Brent Rooker
LF Aledmys Díaz
DH Jordan Diaz
3B Jonah Bride
C Shea Langeliers
SS Nick Allen

LHP Ken Waldichuk

Even though Cole Irvin played for this team just last year, only four of these A’s hitters were teammates with him. The first five batters in this A’s lineup are all new to the club this season. Veteran Aledmys Díaz is the only one who has any kind of history against Irvin, going 4-for-19 with a home run.