WASHINGTON – The Orioles will attempt to complete their two-game sweep of the Nationals tonight after losing back-to-back series. They’re five games behind the Rays and Mariners for the last wild card.
Their 74 wins are the most for any team in the modern era (since 1900) after losing at least 110 games the previous season.
Cedric Mullins and Rougned Odor are on the bench against left-hander Patrick Corbin.
Austin Hays is leading off and playing left field. Ryan McKenna is in center field and batting seventh.
Jesús Aguilar is batting sixth as the designated hitter.
Gunnar Henderson is playing third base again. He has hits in 10 of his first 13 games, going 14-for-46 (.304).
Catcher Adley Rutschman joined Cal Ripken Jr. last night as the only Orioles rookies with 30 doubles in a season. Ripken had 32 in 1982.
Rutschman is one of seven catchers in major league history to record at least 30 doubles in his rookie season, joining Johnny Bench (40 in 1968), Geovany Soto (35 in 2008), Bob Rodgers (34 in 1962), Benito Santiago (33 in 1987), Michael Barrett (32 in 1999), and Bill Dickey (30 in 1929).
Tyler Wells is making his second start since leaving the injured list. He was limited to two innings and 34 pitches on Sept. 7 against the Blue Jays.
Wells started against the Nationals on June 22 and shut them out on three hits over five innings.
Corbin is 6-18 and trying to avoid the first 20-loss season since Detroit’s Mike Maroth in 2003. Before Maroth was Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980.
Hard to top Atlanta knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who went 21-20 with a 3.39 ERA in 44 starts in 1979.
Corbin has posted a 6.30 ERA and 1.705 WHIP in 28 starts. His 195 hits allowed and 99 earned runs lead the majors.
The Orioles had three runs and seven hits in four innings against Corbin in a June 22 start at Camden Yards. He struck out six batters. Hays and Anthony Santander homered in the third inning.
He’s made seven career appearances against the Orioles and gone 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA and 1.417 WHIP in 36 innings.
Corbin had a three-start stretch from Aug. 21-Sept. 3 when he allowed four earned runs in 18 1/3 innings, but he surrendered five runs and 12 hits over 6 2/3 innings in his last outing in Philadelphia. He’s failed to complete the first inning twice this season.
Hays is 6-for-9 with a double, triple and home run against Corbin. Aguilar is 7-for-26 with two doubles and a home run. Santander is 4-for-10 with two doubles and home run.
For the Orioles
Austin Hays LF
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Ramón Urías 2B
Jesús Aguilar DH
Ryan McKenna CF
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Jorge Mateo SS
Tyler Wells RHP