HOUSTON - Aaron Hicks is out of tonight’s Orioles lineup after leaving last night’s game in the ninth inning with cramping in his hamstring. However, Hicks is walking without a limp today and said he should be available.
“I feel good today,” Hicks said. “I can play today. I’m good to go. Just got to hydrate and get things going a little quicker than normal.”
Hicks slid into second base last night and felt the hamstring grab, but it became much worse after he was ready to run onto the field for the bottom of the ninth.
“Obviously, it was enough to where I couldn’t finish the inning,” he said.
“I feel amazing because the last thing you want to happen is for it to keep happening. Today, I feel really good. I’ve been hydrating a lot. So, I’ll be good to go if I have to come in later in the game.”
Hicks has made two stops on the injured list after experiencing lower-back discomfort in San Diego and straining his hamstring in Philadelphia. But he wasn’t alarmed last night.
“It felt like a cramp, acted like a cramp,” he said. “So, that’s pretty much how I feel about it.”
Ryan Mountcastle is out of the lineup for the sixth day in a row. Ryan O’Hearn is the first baseman and Heston Kjerstad is the designated hitter after recording his first multi-hit game last night.
Adley Rutschman also is on the bench.
Gunnar Henderson is leading off and playing third base. Anthony Santander is batting second.
Henderson’s 62 extra-base hits rank first among all rookies and is three shy of tying Cal Ripken Jr. for the club rookie record set in 1982.
Henderson’s nine triples are tied with Arizona’s Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte for the major league lead. He’s two behind Al Bumbry for the club’s rookie record in 1973 and three behind Paul Blair for most in a season in 1967.
Kyle Gibson is trying for his 15th win and his 17th quality start. He owns a 2.45 ERA in 13 career games against the Astros.
Michael Brantley is 13-for-39 (.333) with a double and home run against Gibson. Jose Altuve has two doubles and four home runs among his 11 hits.
The Orioles lead the Rays by 2 ½ games in the division, and their magic number to clinch it is nine.
Rookie right-hander Hunter Brown is 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA and 1.339 WHIP in 28 games. He’s struck out 169 batters in 146 1/3 innings.
Brown tossed five hitless innings against the Athletics in his last start. He pitched at Camden Yards on Aug. 10 and allowed five runs and eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. Rutschman and Mountcastle homered.
For the Orioles
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Austin Hays LF
Cedric Mullins CF
Heston Kjerstad DH
Adam Frazier 2B
James McCann C
Jorge Mateo SS
Kyle Gibson RHP
Catcher Samuel Basallo was named Carolina League Most Valuable Player.
Basallo batted .299 with an .887 OPS, 19 doubles, four triples, 12 home runs and 60 RBIs in 83 games with Single-A Delmarva before his promotions to High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 5 prospect in the system.
For the Astros
Jose Altuve 2B
Alex Bregman 3B
Yordan Álvarez DH
Kyle Tucker RF
José Abreu 1B
Chas McCormick LF
Yanier Díaz C
Mauricio Dúbon CF
Jeremy Peña SS
Hunter Brown RHP