Rutschman leading off for Orioles in final game of Astros series (with rotation note)

The Orioles need a win today in Houston to avoid being swept for the second time this season. They trail the Yankees by 1 ½ games in the American League East.

With the Astros starting left-hander Framber Valdez, the Orioles lineup counters with Adley Rutschman leading off for the first time this season, Gunnar Henderson batting cleanup and Jordan Westburg batting fifth.

Henderson, who extended his on-base streak to 29 games yesterday, is serving as the designated hitter while Jorge Mateo starts at shortstop.

Ryan Mountcastle moves up to second in the order. Austin Hays is in left field and Colton Cowser is in center.

Albert Suárez is making his ninth start and 16th appearance. He’s registered a 2.05 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in 48 1/3 innings, and with only one home run surrendered.

Suárez lasted only 3 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium, allowing three runs and six hits and walking five batters. He’s never faced the Astros.

The Orioles set a club record by homering in 21 consecutive games.

Valdez has made 12 starts and registered a 3.91 ERA and 1.208 WHIP in 73 2/3 innings. He’s surrendered only six home runs.

Valdez has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his four starts this month. He went nine innings against the Angels and held them to one run.

In four career games against the Orioles, Valdez has allowed 12 earned runs and 15 total in 21 2/3 innings.

Mountcastle and Anthony Santander are 3-for-8 with a home run against Valdez. Rutschman is 3-for-6 with a homer.

The Astros have won four games in a row and seven of 10. They haven’t swept the Orioles at home since 2018.

For the Orioles

Adley Rutschman C
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Gunnar Henderson DH
Jordan Westburg 2B
Austin Hays LF
Jorge Mateo SS
Ramón Urías 3B
Colton Cowser CF

Albert Suárez RHP

Dean Kremer made his second rehab start last night with Triple-A Norfolk and allowed five runs and five hits in two-thirds of an inning. He surrendered two home runs.

For the Astros

Jose Altuve 2B
Alex Bregman 3B
Yordan Álvarez LF
Yanier Diaz DH
Jeremy Peña SS
Mauricio Dubón 1B
Joey Loperfido RF
Chas McCormick CF
César Salazar C

Framber Valdez LHP

The Orioles are starting Cade Povich, Cole Irvin and Grayson Rodriguez against the Guardians at Camden Yards. Cleveland is starting Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen and Carlos Carrasco.

O's Cody Asche on facing Valdez, Rutschman batting...
After bump in the road at New York, Albert Suárez ...

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