Orioles lineup vs. Astros (plus notes)

Adley Rutschman is leading off and serving as designated hitter tonight, as the Orioles begin their three-game series against the Astros at Camden Yards.

The Orioles are facing another left-hander tonight, Framber Valdez, which obviously impacts how manager Brandon Hyde writes out his lineup.

Jorge Mateo is in center field, and Austin Hays returns to the lineup as the left fielder.

Gunnar Henderson is playing shortstop and batting fifth. He leads the Orioles with 62 runs scored and can become the first rookie to finish first in that category since Cal Ripken Jr. (90) in 1982, per STATS.

Willie Tasby led the Orioles with 69 runs in 1959 and Tito Francona was first with 62 in 1956.

Ryan Mountcastle will try to build on his nine-game hitting streak. He’s the first baseman tonight and batting behind Rutschman.

Grayson Rodriguez is making his 15th start. He’s allowed five runs in his last three outings over 17 2/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 6.09.

Opponents are slugging .247 against Rodriguez since the break, the second-lowest in baseball (minimum 20 innings) behind Corbin Burnes’ .165, per STATS.

The Orioles are 25-11 in series openers. They went 4-3 against the Astros last season, splitting four games at home.

Their last three-game sweep of the Astros at Camden Yards occurred in 2008. Houston swept the Orioles in three games in Baltimore during the 2021 season.

The Orioles and Braves are tied for most wins in the majors with 70.

Reliever Jacob Webb hasn’t been added to the active roster. The Orioles didn’t announce a roster move.

Valdez has made 21 starts and posted a 3.07 ERA and 1.074 WHIP with 141 strikeouts in 135 innings. He’s tossed two complete-game shutouts, including a no-hitter against the Guardians last Tuesday.

Valdez is the first left-hander in franchise history to throw a no-hitter. He’s the fourth pitcher in history to produce a win that clinched the World Series and then toss a no-hitter the following season.

Tonight is Valdez’s fourth career appearance against the Orioles. He’s allowed six earned runs and nine total with 17 hits in 14 2/3 innings.

Anthony Santander is 3-for-6 with a home run against Valdez.

José Abreu has registered a career .360 average against the Orioles.

Cristian Javier and rookie Hunter Brown are starting the last two games of the series.

The Astros are 64-49 and in second place in the American League West, three games behind the Rangers. They’re 33-24 on the road and have won five of their last seven games overall.

If the season ended today, the Astros would hold the second wild card.

Houston ranks second in the majors with a 3.78 ERA. The bullpen is ninth at 3.77.

The Orioles bullpen is third with a 3.55 ERA.

For the Orioles
Adley Rutschman DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Austin Hays LF
Gunnar Henderson SS
Jordan Westburg 2B
Ramón Urías 3B
James McCann C
Jorge Mateo CF

Grayson Rodriguez RHP

Major League Baseball announced its postseason schedule. The wild card round is Oct. 3-5, the American League Division Series Oct. 7-13 and the AL Championship Series Oct. 15-23. The World Series runs from Oct. 27-Nov. 4.

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