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Thursday night Orioles game thread: vs Red Sox, 6:35

Ryan Mountcastle is back just in time for the Orioles to clinch the AL East title. Hopefully that happens tonight!

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

This could be a special night in Baltimore. If the Orioles win, they are officially AL East champions. It is that simple. You can be sure that the champagne-soaked celebration that follows would be something to behold.

It would also be this team’s 100th win of the season, a fairly compelling threshold that only five other iterations of this franchise have achieved. Four of those five went on to play in the World Series.

If these Orioles win at least two more games in the regular season, including tonight, they will settle in as the fifth-best team in franchise history by regular season winning percentage. All four teams ahead of them played in the World Series.

The golden era of Orioles baseball is one of the most accomplished periods of time for any franchise in sports history. This 2023 team is better than more than a few of those teams that boasted rosters littered with future Hall of Famers. It is impossible to oversell just how impressive this squad has been all season long.

Something special is brewing down in Triple-A as well. The Norfolk Tides will play a decisive game three against the Durham Bulls for the International League championship at the same time as this Orioles/Red Sox affair. Cade Povich is on the bump at Harbor Park.

This could mean we get a dual celebration in the organization this evening! It could also mean the opposite, but let’s not think that way.

Let’s go O’s!

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Austin Hays, LF
  2. Adley Rutschman DH
  3. Anthony Santander, RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
  5. Aaron Hicks, CF
  6. Gunnar Henderson, 3B
  7. Jordan Westburg, 2B
  8. James McCann, C
  9. Jorge Mateo, SS

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

Mountcastle returns to the starting lineup for the first time since September 13. Rutschman is the DH for the second straight night, seemingly an effort to keep him fresh for October. Henderson is dropped to sixth against the left-handed starter, the lowest he has been in the order in two weeks. Mullins gets an expected breather.

Red Sox Starting Lineup

  1. Ceddanne Rafaela, CF
  2. Rafael Devers, 3B
  3. Masataka Yoshida, DH
  4. Alex Verdugo, RF
  5. Trevor Story, SS
  6. Wilyer Abreu, LF
  7. Enmanuel Valdez, 2B
  8. Bobby Dalbec, 1B
  9. Connor Wong, C

Chris Sale, LHP (6-4, 4.42 ERA)