Orioles lineup vs. Astros

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Gunnar Henderson stays at third base tonight as the Orioles try to win their third game in a row.

Manager Brandon Hyde is starting Ramón Urías at second base and using Jesús Aguilar as his designated hitter, with Kyle Stowers and Terrin Vavra on the bench – moves motivated by Astros right-hander José Urquidy being a reverse splits guy.

Austin Hays is in left field after entering last night’s game as a defensive replacement.

Anthony Santander is in right field and batting cleanup.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Jesús Aguilar DH
Ramón Urías 2B
Austin Hays LF
Jorge Mateo SS

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Aguilar was an unlikely hero on a day the Orioles had several in comeback win

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TORONTO – He’s No. 99 on your scorecard but No. 1 in your hearts.

OK, that is a stretch. But heading into Sunday’s series finale at Toronto, some fans must have thought that the rookies were doing their part. When would the vets pick up some slack too? Well one did late in the game yesterday and in a very big way.

It was an unlikely candidate in Jesus Aguilar, the first Oriole ever to wear a number in the nineties. But beyond that distinction he had struggled badly in his first eight O’s games. Once an All-Star in 2018 when he drove in 108 runs with a career OPS of .772, his O’s OPS was .261 at game time Sunday. He was only in the lineup because Ryan Mountcastle was hurt.

Then Aguilar, who started his day 0-for-3, hurt the Blue Jays.

His solo homer in the eighth was his first with the Orioles and pulled them within 3-2. After Adley Rutschman’s two-run single gave the O’s the 4-3 lead in the ninth, Aguilar singled in their fifth run. And they needed it when Toronto pulled within 5-4 in the home half of the ninth.

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O's comeback: They rally for three in the ninth to beat Toronto, 5-4 (updated)

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TORONTO – After 26 innings of mostly frustration on offense this weekend in Toronto, the 27th inning proved quite fruitful for the Orioles today.

Against right-handed All-Star closer Jordan Romano, one of the saves leaders in MLB with 34, the Orioles scored three runs in the ninth on Adley Rutschman’s huge two-run single and an RBI single by Jesús Aguilar.

The Orioles, who never led today until the ninth, beat Toronto 5-4 to salvage the final game of this series.

Winning for just the fifth time in 13 games, the Orioles come home at 76-69, and this win sparked a little life into their flickering playoff hopes.

Romano had recorded 14 consecutive scoreless appearances over 15 innings and had allowed just one earned run this season at home in 28 games. His home ERA of 0.31 was the best among all qualified MLB relievers. 

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Hyde on lineup, Mullins, Hays, Aguilar, Wells and more

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WASHINGTON – Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins and second baseman Rougned Odor aren’t in tonight’s lineup, which is explained by the opposing pitcher.

Manager Brandon Hyde is going with a predominantly right-handed lineup against Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin. Ryan McKenna gets the start in center field and Ramón Urías stays at second base.

The only left-handed bat belongs to rookie Gunnar Henderson, who starts at third base.

Odor’s right hand wasn’t wrapped today. Mullins was hit on the right hand last night and stayed in the game.

“There’s a pretty good chance you’ll see them both in there at some point,” Hyde said.

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Hyde on Mateo, Henderson, Aguilar, Mountcastle, Hall, home games and more

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CLEVELAND – Gunnar Henderson is playing shortstop tonight for the first time in the majors, with manager Brandon Hyde wanting to move him around the infield - mainly on the left side. But Hyde also wanted to provide some rest for Jorge Mateo, who hasn't been idle since July 30.

Mateo has appeared in 121 games in his first full season in the majors. He could use a breather.

“It’s just giving Jorgie a game off,” Hyde said this afternoon. “I can’t remember the last time he’s had a game off. We’ve got a long stretch ahead of us and just wanted to give Jorgie a day today.”

Same with outfielder Austin Hays, who joins Mateo on the bench. Nothing related to his health.

Henderson provided a jolt to the offense last night with his home run and single, but Hyde isn’t asking him to carry a heavy load.

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Orioles lineup vs. Guardians

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CLEVELAND - Gunnar Henderson is starting at shortstop tonight as the Orioles conclude their road trip and try to win their series against the Guardians.

He stays on the left side of the infield.

Henderson is batting fifth behind Ramón Urías, who moves to third base.

Jorge Mateo and Austin Hays are on the bench. Jesús Aguilar is the designated hitter in his first game with the Orioles.

Terrin Vavra is in left field and batting ninth, and Anthony Santander is in right.

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Orioles DFA Richie Martin

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CLEVELAND – The Orioles designated infielder Richie Martin for assignment this afternoon to make room on the 40-man roster for first baseman Jesús Aguilar, whose contract was selected after he signed a minor league deal yesterday and joined the taxi squad.

Left-hander DL Hall was recalled today to give the Orioles 28 players in the new month, which begins with them only two games out of third place and two behind the last wild card spot.

Aguilar is the first Oriole to wear No. 99.

Martin, 27, was selected from the Athletics in the 2018 Rule 5 draft. He appeared in 120 games in 2019 as the primary shortstop, but only 50 between 2021-22 due to injuries and his struggles at the plate, where he hit .212/.261/.311.

At Triple-A Norfolk, Martin was batting .244/.338/.360 with 17 doubles, four triples, one home run, 21 RBIs and 20 stolen base in 24 attempts.

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Recapping a busy day for Orioles

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A nine-inning baseball game last night felt like the calmest moment that the Orioles experienced, even in the heat of a pennant race.

Roster moves were distributed to the media as if shot out of a T-shirt gun. The spring training schedule was released, minus report dates and times.

The pace figures to slow today, with just the corresponding 40-man roster move to accommodate first baseman Jesús Aguilar.

Active rosters grow from 26 to 28 players, and we already know that the Orioles are using those spots on Aguilar and left-hander DL Hall.

Rewinding to yesterday’s activity, the biggest surprise might have been the selection of Gunnar Henderson’s contract rather than his placement on the taxi squad, which was the plan Tuesday night.

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More on arrivals of Henderson, Aguilar and Hall

Gunnar Henderson fielding BP

CLEVELAND – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde watched Gunnar Henderson hit on the field hours before batting practice, an early session that confirmed everything he knew about the former second-round draft pick. The tools on display. Some of the reasons why he rates so highly among scouts and talent evaluators.

Why he’s the youngest Oriole to debut since Dylan Bundy in September 2012. And the youngest position player since Manny Machado that same year.

“It’s really impressive,” Hyde said. “It’s so physical, so strong, and it’s exciting to have another one of our top prospects here.”

Henderson is least likely to play first base with Ryan Mountcastle entrenched as the starter and Jesús Aguilar going from taxi squad to expanded roster on Thursday.

“We’re going to play him multiple spots in the infield,” Hyde said after writing Henderson’s name at third base on the lineup card. “It’s something he’s been preparing for down at Norfolk, getting a lot of reps. Recent reps at second base, shortstop, third base. He’ll be day-to-day with where we put him in the infield.

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Henderson promoted to active roster, Aguilar signed to minor league deal

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CLEVELAND – The Orioles didn’t wait until Thursdays’ roster expansion to select infielder Gunnar Henderson’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk.

They did it early this afternoon, bringing up Henderson and optioning infielder Tyler Nevin to Norfolk.

Pitcher Denyi Reyes was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster.

Henderson, who’s wearing No. 2, could be in tonight’s lineup against Guardians right-hander Triston McKenzie. We’ll find out later.

The first appearance will allow Henderson, 21, to become the youngest Oriole to make his major league debut since infielder Manny Machado in 2012. Machado was a first-round shortstop who switched to third base. Henderson is a second-round shortstop in 2019 who’s played all four infield positions in the minors, gaining experience on the right side this month.

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