Orioles and Cardinals lineups for series opener in St. Louis

Ryan Mountcastle is out of the Orioles lineup again tonight to begin a three-game series in St. Louis.

Mountcastle sat out Saturday's game and played first base yesterday. He had two doubles and a triple on May 11 but has one hit in his last 20 at-bats. He hasn’t drawn a walk since April 24.

Anthony Santander, who’s receiving treatment on a bruised and swollen left knee, is the designated hitter.

Jordan Westburg is batting cleanup for the second time in his career.

Cedric Mullins is in center field. Mullins stole his 100th career base yesterday and needs three more to tie Corey Patterson for eighth in club history.

Colton Cowser is in right field. He reached base in nine of 12 plate appearances in the Mariners series.

Gunnar Henderson has homered in three straight games and has hit five leadoff homers this season.

Henderson became the second shortstop 22 or younger to lead the majors in homers through 40 games of the season, joining the Cardinals’ Rogers Hornsby in 1917, per STATS. Hornsby hit eight.

Only three shortstops have ever led the majors in home runs in a single season: Alex Rodriguez (2002 and 2003), Ernie Banks (1958 and 1960) and Herman Long (1900).

Dean Kremer has registered a 3.72 ERA and 1.022 WHIP in eight starts. He hasn’t pitched since May 12, and the extended rest could help the blister heal on his right middle finger.

Kremer has a 1.88 ERA and .134 average against on the road.

Kremer faced the Cardinals on Sept. 11, 2023 and allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Tonight marks his first start in St. Louis.

The Orioles lost two of three to the Cardinals at home last September, winning the first game 11-5 and dropping the next two 5-2 and 1-0. Their last visit to St. Louis in 2022 produced two wins in the three-game series May 10-12. They’re 3-3 all-time in St. Louis.

The Orioles haven’t trailed after the first inning in the last 19 games, the longest streak in the majors according to STATS. They’ve allowed 11 runs in the first, tied with the Royals for fewest.

More STATS: The Orioles lead the majors with 24 homers to lead off an inning. The Dodgers are next with 17. The Orioles haven’t ranked first in that category since 2016 with 68.

A win would give the Orioles their 30th win through 45 games, their highest total since 1997.

Right-hander Sonny Gray, in his first season with the Cardinals, is 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP in seven starts. He’s struck out 53 batters and surrendered only five home runs in 41 1/3 innings.

Austin Hays is 3-for-9 with five strikeouts against Gray, and he’s in left field tonight. Santander is 2-for-10 with a home run.

Gray’s ERA is 5.50 in three starts this month compared to 1.16 in his first four. Four of the home runs against him have come in his last two outings.

The Cardinals are 20-26 and in fourth place in the National League Central. They’re seven games behind the first-place Brewers and have been above .500 for only one day.

The Cardinals have scored 175 runs to rank 28th in the majors and last in the National League. Their 38 home runs are tied for 25th in the majors.

The Orioles and Yankees are tied for first with 68.

For the Orioles

Gunnar Henderson SS
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Jordan Westburg 3B
Anthony Santander DH
Colton Cowser RF
Austin Hays LF
Cedric Mullins CF
Jorge Mateo 2B

Dean Kremer RHP

For the Cardinals

Brendan Donovan LF
Lars Nootbaar RF
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Nolan Arenado 3B
Alec Burleson DH
Iván Herrera C
Nolan Gorman 2B
Masyn Winn SS
Michael Siani CF

Sonny Gray RHP

Steve Melewski is in St. Louis. I’ll join the team in Chicago.

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