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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: @ Angels, 9:38 ET

The O’s place their hopes for a sweep tonight on the grizzled shoulders of Kyle Gibson. 

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
“So, DON’T throw cutters up in the zone, you think?”
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Games 1 and 2 of this three-game series against a dismantled Los Angeles Angels: check, and check. Neither was a cakewalk, but the Orioles did what they had to do. With a four-game series against Tampa Bay rapidly approaching, it’s critical to win the winnable games. Tonight, they try for a sweep. But this is the worst starter matchup of the series.

Last time out, Kyle Gibson did not look like a good version of himself. On August 30, he allowed seven runs to a not-good offense, the White Sox. Everything was soft and up in the zone, so it was no wonder. Yet the start before that was a commanding eight-inning performance against the Blue Jays. So, much like a box of chocolates, that’s Kyle Gibson lately. Despite an ERA 7.89 in August, he’ll get another chance to prove his worth tonight.

The Angels’ Patrick Sandoval has been the bridesmaid of the rotation all season, but with Shohei Ohtani out for the rest of the year, he’s now the best they’ve got. In 2022, he pitched like an ace, with a fantastic 2.91 ERA in 27 starts. In this, Sandoval’s fifth year, his ERA is up to 4.19. Batters’ average against (.248) is nearly identical to his mark last year, but he’s gotten walk prone, with a career-worst 4.4 BB/9. Let’s see if a patient Orioles lineup can take advantage.

Orioles lineup

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

Angels lineup

1. Nolan Schanuel 1B
2. Brandon Drury 2B
3. Luis Rengifo SS
4. Mike Moustakas 3B
5. Logan O’Hoppe C
6. Matt Thaiss DH
7. Trey Cabbage RF
8. Randal Grichuk LF
9. Brett Phillips CF