The Orioles stay outside of their division tonight as a new opponent arrives in Baltimore, but the Astros are sitting on 99 wins while owning the best record in the American League.
The teams will play four games. Houston has won four in a row, 10 of 11 and 12 of 14.
Manager Brandon Hyde hit big with last night’s lineup, and he’s keeping Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Kyle Stowers and Terrin Vavra in it tonight.
In this arrangement, outfielder Austin Hays and infielder Ramón Urías join the other reserves.
Henderson is playing third base and Rougned Odor has resurfaced at second. Vavra is in left field and Stowers is in right, with Anthony Santander serving as the designated hitter. He’s also the cleanup hitter.
Henderson is batting third again. He’s the seventh Oriole in franchise history to record at least 15 RBIs in his first 20 career games.
Hays extended his on-base streak last night to eight games since Sept. 11 and he’s slashing .320/.452/.400 (8-for-25). His 132 games played this season are a career high.
Urías’ three walks last night were a career high.
The Orioles won two of three games in Houston last month. Kyle Bradish shut out the Astros on two hits over eight innings, and he’s on the mound tonight.
Bradish has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all 10 starts since coming off the injured list, but he lasted only 4 2/3 Saturday in Toronto. He was charged with five runs overall and six hits.
Justin Verlander is 17-3 with a 1.78 ERA, lowest in the majors, and 0.834 WHIP in 25 starts, and he’s averaging 1.5 walks and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three starts over 14 innings, but lasted only three against the Orioles on Aug. 28 – striking out six batters – before exiting with calf discomfort.
The 39-year-old right-hander returned from the injured list on Friday and kept the Athletics hitless for five innings with nine strikeouts. He’s fine.
Verlander has made 23 career starts against the Orioles and gone 10-5 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.187 WHIP in 148 1/3 innings.
Odor is 6-for-39 with two home runs and 12 strikeouts against Verlander.
Trey Mancini returns to Camden Yards for the first time since his Aug. 1 trade. His former club is four games behind the Mariners for the last wild card spot.
The Orioles are the second team in major league history to reach 77 wins in a season after losing 110 or more the previous year, joining the 2005 Diamondbacks.
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Anthony Santander DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Terrin Vavra LF
Kyle Stowers RF
Rougned Odor 2B
Jorge Mateo SS
Kyle Bradish RHP