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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs Rays, 1:35

Dean Kremer starts yet another big game on a day in which the Orioles can punch their postseason ticket.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at San Diego Padres Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was huge. The Orioles secured the tiebreaker over the Rays and regained sole possession of first place in the AL East. Today, they can go back up two games in the standings—just as they had entered the weekend series—and they can clinch a playoff spot.

There is still work to do. Let’s be honest, the Orioles won’t be satisfied with just any old playoff spot at this point. They have played well enough to win just about any division in baseball. It would be something of a bummer for them to be saddled with a wild card spot after all that.

This game feels like a good spot for Dean Kremer. The righty brings a unique tenacity to the mound that could be necessary for a win. It’s the second time he’s faced the Rays in 2023. The previous outing came back in May, and it was a good one. Over six innings he didn’t allow a run on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.

Zack Littell is on the bump for Tampa. He’s only been a regular starter for them since late July. He’s done well in the time, pitching to a 3.86 ERA over 53.2 innings, and his last two starts have seen him throw 15 innings combined. There is some proneness to the long ball in his game. He’s allowed nine homers over his last seven starts (42.2 innings).

The forecast does not look ideal for this game. Rain will be in the area for much of the day, but it does look like it will be clear from first pitch through 3 p.m. or so. All nine innings should get in, but an interruption in play isn’t out of the question.

Let’s go O’s!

Orioles Starting Lineup

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

Dean Kremer, RHP (12-5, 4.25 ERA)

Still no Ryan Mountcastle. He hasn’t played since Wednesday with a sore shoulder but remains off the IL. The only change from the Saturday lineup that put up eight runs is McCann stepping in to catch the day game. That moves Rutschman to DH, and Aaron Hicks takes a seat so that Santander can stay in the lineup and play right field.

Rays Starting Lineup

  1. Yandy Díaz, 1B
  2. Brandon Lowe, 2B
  3. Randy Arozarena, LF
  4. Josh Lowe, RF
  5. Isaac PAredes, 3B
  6. Jonathan Aranda, DH
  7. Manuel Margot, CF
  8. Tristan Gray, SS
  9. Christian Bethancourt, C

Zack Littell, RHP (3-6, 4.25 ERA)