The Orioles are playing a rare Sunday night game, which gives manager Buck Showalter more time to craft his lineup.
He’s probably got a few already made out. That’s the norm with Showalter.
The Rangers are sending another southpaw to the mound: Martin Perez, who gave up two earned runs (four total) in six innings July 9 at Camden Yards. Left-handers are batting .286 against him, compared to .257 by right-handers.
Consider that stat, and factor in Henry Urrutia’s success against left-handers in the minors and last night against reliever Joseph Ortiz. Sort of makes you wonder whether Showalter will give him another start tonight.
Urrutia could be the designated hitter again, with Nate McLouth in left field. That would be two left-handed hitters against Perez. Or Urrutia could start in left field, with Danny Valencia serving as the designated hitter. Or Urrutia could be on the bench, as he was Friday night against left-hander Derek Holland.
Showalter values defense and is most comfortable with McLouth in left. The decision most likely comes down to Urrutia or Valencia.
Here is the other possibility: Showalter rests Chris Davis and starts Valencia at first base, with Urrutia the designated hitter. Valencia was playing first at Triple-A Norfolk after the Orioles acquired Alex Liddi.
Probably won’t happen.
Urrutia struck out against right-hander Ross Wolf. He had an RBI single against Ortiz in the third inning and lined to short in the sixth. Two good at-bats against a southpaw.
Orioles designated hitters were batting .194 before last night, which ranked last in the American League and 25th in the majors. Yes, there were five National League teams below them. Much smaller sample sizes.
The Nationals’ DHs were last with a .111 average in 18 at-bats, in case you were wondering. The Yankees ranked 24th with a .207 average.
Chris Tillman will attempt to record his 13th quality start tonight out of 20 starts. He’s lost only once since May 19, going 9-1 during that span.
Tillman is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers. He’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts in Texas, with three earned runs (four total) and eight hits in 14 innings. He’s walked two and struck out 10.