Eshelman starting opener, Alberto and Núñez return to lineup

Right-hander Thomas Eshelman is starting the first game of today’s doubleheader against the Yankees.

Eshelman is the replacement for veteran Alex Cobb, who’s on the injured list for protocol reasons.

The Orioles don’t offer specific information if an absence involves COVID-19 testing.

“We’re just following protocol and he’s just unavailable today, and that’s really all I can say on it at this point,” manager Brandon Hyde said during his Zoom conference call. “Eshelman’s going to start for him and we hope he’s back soon.”

Eshelman threw 16 pitches on Monday and found out this morning that he’d make the emergency start. He’s used to unexpected assignments, including the Aug. 23 game against the Red Sox when Wade LeBlanc left in the first inning with an elbow injury and Eshelman tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

Tom-Eshelman-Deals-vs-TB-White-Sidebar.jpg“I wasn’t too concerned if he was going to be ready or not,” Hyde said. “I know that he loves to pitch, I know he loves to start. He’s taking advantage of his opportunities.

“I remember a start in Anaheim last year that was kind of last-minute and he went out and threw really well against the Angels. Wade LeBlanc goes down in the first and he pitches really well there in a rushed situation, so I’m not concerned at all about the buildup to his start because I know he’s always ready, so it’s a great opportunity for him.”

Reliever Shawn Armstrong is eligible to come off the injured list Saturday, but he might not be ready. He’s receiving treatment for lower back soreness.

“Army’s going to throw tomorrow,” Hyde said. “I would hope we get Armstrong sometime this week if everything goes well.”

Hanser Alberto did some running and took ground balls before batting practice to test his sore knee. He’s in the lineup for the opener, batting sixth.

Renato Núñez received treatment on his sore hamstring yesterday and today. He’s in the lineup as the first baseman and cleanup hitter.

DJ Stewart is in left field, with Ryan Mountcastle on the bench. José Iglesias is the designated hitter.

Alberto spoke earlier today about being the Orioles’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I appreciate the Orioles for choosing me for this award and I feel very grateful. And that’s what we want to show. We don’t just want to try to do good on the field, but off the field, too. That means we bring a really good message for the people out there and it means a lot.

“Hopefully, God keeps me healthy for many, many years and we can keep doing what we’re going.”

Right-hander Michael King is now listed as the Yankees’ starter for the first game, with Deivi Garcia starting the second. King has made five appearances, including two starts, and allowed 12 runs in 17 1/3 innings.

He’s never faced the Orioles.

Mountcastle worked out at first base before batting practice.

The Orioles are trying to end an 18-game losing streak against the Yankees.

“We haven’t played well against the Yankees for two years, so hoping that we can start doing that today,” Hyde said. “We just haven’t matched up well against them. This team has scored more runs than we do and we’ve had a tough time of beating them. It’s a really good club, it’s a very, very talented team.

“I know they’ve got some guys who are banged up. They did last year, also. It doesn’t really matter. They replace big league guys with big league guys and still have a really good back end of the bullpen and good pitching. It’s a tough task, and hopefully we can start a new day today.”

The Yankees placed infielder Gio Urshela on the injured list with a bone spur in his right elbow. He joins Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Anthony Santander RF
José Iglesias DH
Renato Núñez 1B
Chance Sisco C
Hanser Alberto 2B
DJ Stewart LF
Rio Ruiz 3B
Andrew Velazquez SS

Thomas Eshelman RHP

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