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Orioles Game #134 Game Thread: at Diamondbacks, 9:40

Another road trip of late nights for Orioles fans gets under way tonight

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

One month from today, the Orioles will be playing the final game of the regular season. For the sake of our blood pressure, we can probably all hope that between now and then, the O’s play so well that the last game does not have any meaning for them. Most likely, the only team that would pass them is the Rays, who sit 1.5 games back in the AL East.

We’re not into territory where games could be described as must-win, but with the number of games left to play dwindling, that does magnify the importance of each successive game. It is important for the Orioles to win this one because they are facing a Diamondbacks starting pitcher - former Orioles farmhand Zach Davies - who’s got a 6.93 ERA this season.

They need to make the most of these opportunities when presented with them, especially because the remainder of the series will not be so kind to them with pitching matchups. Can they do it? We’ve seen them lose some annoying ones against struggling pitchers lately, and we’ve seen them get comeback wins that they shouldn’t have needed to get against some struggling starters too.

The Rays have an easier task facing them this weekend, as they get to play the below-.500 Guardians. Cleveland is still acting like a contender, since it has only a five game deficit to the Twins in what’s been the worst-performing division in baseball for most of the season. They grabbed three of the Angels players who were dumped onto waivers. Maybe that means they will put up a fight against the Rays. But we can’t count on sub-.500 losers to take games and help the Orioles. The O’s just need to take care of their own business and stay ahead.

Some good news tonight that is outside of anything to do with the Orioles on field: Jim Palmer is making his return to the MASN booth after having been hospitalized due to a case of COVID. It is good to see that he is doing better.

Orioles lineup

  1. Adley Rutschman - C
  2. Gunnar Henderson - SS
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ryan O’Hearn - 1B
  5. Austin Hays - LF
  6. Cedric Mullins - CF
  7. Jordan Westburg - DH
  8. Adam Frazier - 2B
  9. Ramón Urías - 3B

Cole Irvin makes the start for the Orioles. He has been better in the second half and also better away from Camden Yards. Let’s hope these two things are positives that will play out tonight as well.

The original version of the lineup had Ryan Mountcastle playing first base and O’Hearn at designated hitter. He was scratched because, according to O’s reporters, he was not feeling well. This set off some juggling with the result being the above.

Diamondbacks lineup

  1. Ketel Marte - 2B
  2. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. - LF
  3. Tommy Pham - DH
  4. Christian Walker - 1B
  5. Evan Longoria - 3B
  6. Corbin Carroll - RF
  7. Gabriel Moreno - C
  8. Nick Ahmed - SS
  9. Alek Thomas - CF

Evan Longoria is on the Diamondbacks? Weird. He’s played in 65 games this year and is sporting a 108 OPS+. The team has been picking its spots of when to play him, and he also is fairly recently back from missing nearly a month of action.