Martinez still playing matchups against lefty starters

Luis Garcia swings white

For the fourth time in their first six games of the new season, the Nationals are facing a left-handed starter in Shane McClanahan for this afternoon’s series finale against the Rays.

While trying to avoid a sweep in just the second series of 2023 and with it still being so early, manager Davey Martinez is playing matchups, stacking his starting lineup with right-handed bats and giving some of his everyday lefty hitters a day off.

That leaves Luis García on the bench for the second straight game after he was removed from the lineup for the first time this season against rookie southpaw Josh Fleming on Tuesday. He did record a pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh against righty Kevin Kelly.

Martinez confirmed there is nothing physically wrong with his young second baseman, insisting that he's just playing the matchups. Shortstop CJ Abrams is the only left-handed hitter starting today, with Michael Chavis once again replacing García at second base.

“No, we got a run of just left-handed pitchers, so I kind of want to pick my spots with him,” Martinez said of García. “He came in yesterday, pinch-hit, hit the ball well. But this guy we're facing today, he's tough. He's tough on lefties. Abrams stays in there a little bit better on sliders, so he's gonna play short today. And Chavis swung the bat well yesterday, so I want to get him back out there again and give him a couple of days. But Luis will be back in there. We got a lefty tomorrow, we'll need him today, but he'll be out there again tomorrow.”

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O's game blog: DL Hall faces Tampa Bay in his MLB debut


After Friday’s win over the Tampa Bay Rays by a 10-3 score, the Orioles have a chance today to win this series and create further separation between these clubs. Today, the Rays host the O’s in the second contest of this three-game series.

The Orioles (59-53) scored in seven of their nine at-bats last night and produced a season-high 19 hits in their latest win, which was their eighth in the last 10 games. They have also won 12 of 17, 24 of 33 and 35 of the last 53 games.

Tampa Bay (58-53) has now lost three in a row and four of five games. The Rays are 7-12 in the second half and they are 27-32 since June 4.

The Orioles currently hold the third wild card spot in the American League. They are two games behind Seattle for the top spot and 1.5 back of Toronto for the second spot. And the Orioles are just ½ game ahead of both Minnesota and Tampa Bay for that WC-3. Did we mention how close this race is!

Orioles pitchers continue to have a pretty good season and their team ERA of 3.88 ranks tied for sixth-best in the AL. Since the All-Star break, the Orioles are 13-7 with a team ERA of 3.64 which ranks sixth in the AL. The Orioles have greatly improved their strikeout-to-walks ratio in the second half. For the year, they rank seventh with a ratio of 2.81 strikeouts for every walk but in the second-half that ratio is 3.53. In 178 second-half innings, the Orioles have walked 49 and fanned 173.

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