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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Diamondbacks, 4:10pm ET

The O’s send Jack Flaherty to the mound as they look to seal another winning series, this time against Arizona in the desert.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Saturday night was a great palate cleanser for all of Birdland after a series opener vs. the Diamondbacks that left a bad taste in all of our mouths. The O’s again got great pitching, Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman each went deep and Baltimore dominated the game from the fourth inning onward to secure the win. The Orioles will look to repeat that effort this Sunday afternoon as they try to score a series win to start their West Coast road trip.

If the O’s are going to get a win today, they’ll likely need a better effort than Jack Flaherty’s last start in the Pacific Time Zone. When Flaherty took the bump in San Diego, he only lasted three innings and allowed seven runs to the Padres. While the 27-year-old’s last start for the O’s was more encouraging—three runs over 5.2 innings against Colorado—that debacle against the Padres will surely be weighing on fans’ minds as Flaherty toes the rubber against the D-Backs.

A longtime member of the National League with the Cardinals, the O’s righty has a mixed history when facing Arizona. While some numbers are encouraging—like his .200 BAA and 26 Ks in 24.2 innings—his 4.13 ERA, three HRs allowed in four starts and 0-2 records against Arizona leave something to be desired. Those numbers are slightly better when Flaherty pitches in Chase Field, however. Coincidentally, the Diamondbacks were Flaherty’s opponent in his last start for St. Louis, where he went five innings, allowed three runs and struck out four in an 11-7 Cardinals’ win.

To make things a bit tougher on the O’s, the D-Backs will send NL Cy Young contender Zac Gallen to the mound to oppose Flaherty. While Gallen was his normal excellent self throughout August—posting a 3.19 ERA while limiting opponents to a .246 average—his is coming off this worst start of the season. His last time out, in Dodger Stadium, Gallen was tagged for four HRs and six runs overall as Arizona took a 14-6 loss.

Gallen’s game plan on the mound revolves around getting ahead of hitters with his league-best fastball and then putting them away with his curveball, change up and cutter. That curveball—his primary secondary offering—has been much more hittable this year than previous season, so look for players like Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson to tee off on Gallen’s big bender. Aaron Hicks also make his return to the lineup after the O’s activated him off the IL today.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Adley Rutschman (S) C
  2. Gunnar Henderson (L) SS
  3. Anthony Santander (S) DH
  4. Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
  5. Ryan O’Hearn (L) RF
  6. Aaron Hicks (S) LF
  7. Cedric Mullins (L) CF
  8. Ramón Urías (R) 3B
  9. Adam Frazier (L) 2B

Starting pitcher: Jack Flaherty (8-8, 4.73 ERA, 128 Ks, 1.55 ERA)

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. Corbin Carroll (L) RF
  2. Ketel Marte (S) 2B
  3. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
  4. Tommy Pham (R) DH
  5. Alek Thomas (L) CF
  6. Pavin Smith (L) 1B
  7. Jace Peterson (L) 3B
  8. Jose Herrera (S) C
  9. Geraldo Perdomo (S) SS

Starting pitcher: Zac Gallen (14-6, 3.32 ERA, 182 Ks, 1.10 WHIP)