Lineups and notes on rotation, Armstrong, offense and more

Ryan Mountcastle is back in left field tonight as the Orioles continue their series against the Braves at Camden Yards.

Mountcastle made his first start at first base last night in a 5-1 loss.

Pat Valaika is playing first base, Andrew Velazquez is at second base and Hanser Alberto has moved to third.

Austin Hays is in center field instead of Cedric Mullins.

José Iglesias produced his 15th multi-hit game last night, tied with Alberto for the team lead. Iglesias is batting .375 (24-for-64) with six doubles, one home run and 13 RBIs in 16 interleague games.

Pedro Severino is batting .391 (18-for-46) with 14 RBIs in 15 interleague games. He’s the cleanup hitter tonight.

Mullins is batting .389 (14-for-36) with five doubles, one triple, four RBIs and seven runs scored in 12 career interleague games.

Rookie left-hander Keegan Akin is making his fourth major league start tonight. He lasted only two-thirds of an inning Friday night at Yankee Stadium, allowing four runs and throwing 39 pitches.

Left-hander Cole Hamels is making his first start for the Braves. He missed spring training with left shoulder tendinitis and most of summer training camp with left triceps tendinitis.

The Braves will place Hamels on a shorter leash, perhaps restricting him to three or four innings.

Hamels has faced the Orioles seven times in his career and gone 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.356 WHIP in 45 innings. He’s 1-7 with a 7.99 ERA and 1.563 WHIP in four starts and 23 2/3 innings at Camden Yards.

For the Orioles
Hanser Alberto 3B
José Iglesias SS
Ryan Mountcastle LF
Pedro Severino C
Renato Núñez DH
DJ Stewart RF
Pat Valaika 1B
Austin Hays CF
Andrew Velazquez 2B

Keegan Akin LHP

For the Braves
Ronald Acuña Jr. CF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Marcell Ozuna LF
Travis d’Arnaud DH
Dansby Swanson SS
Adam Duvall RF
Austin Riley 3B
Tyler Flowers C
Ozzie Albies 2B

Cole Hamels LHP

Dean Kremer is starting one of the games in Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rays at Camden Yards. The other starter is TBD.

“I think there’s a lot of possibilities tomorrow that we’re still discussing, whether we’re going to do a bullpen game here, add a bullpen arm from Bowie, add a guy who can give us innings at Bowie, etc.,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “So I think there’s a lot of things in play that are being discussed right now.”

Alex Cobb starts on Friday, Jorge López on Saturday and John Means on Sunday in the final home game.

The Rays are starting Blake Snell in the opener, with the starter of the second game listed as TBD. Tyler Glasnow is starting Friday night and Charlie Morton on Saturday.

On a separate topic that could end up tying into the starter question, Hyde was asked whether another player could make his major league debut before the season ends.

“I think it’s possible,” he said.

Reliever Shawn Armstrong is throwing at the alternate camp site while trying to return from a lower-back injury. He hasn’t pitched for the Orioles since Aug. 22.

Thumbnail image for Shawn-Armstrong-Delivers-White-Sidebar.jpg“Shawn is throwing in Bowie, feeling better, and I think he went off the mound yesterday, so he’s getting closer. I’m not sure about his return date yet,” Hyde said.

It’s also possible that Armstrong stays in Bowie through the Sept. 27 finale.

“I’m not sure,” Hyde said. “I think if he is continuing to progress and responds with his side work, then I think it’s possible, but I’m not entirely sure.”

Hyde is more concerned about a streaky offense that scored three runs in 33 innings in New York, 14 in the series opener against the Braves and only one last night with four hits.

“I think it’s the age of our lineup, but I think we’re streaky because we are really aggressive and we can be over-aggressive at times and we run into pitchers who are able to expand on us,” Hyde said.

“I think we can get ourselves out quite a bit and I think we’re inconsistent in swinging at strikes a lot of times. When we’re going well and swinging the bat well, our strike zone judgement is better and we’re a little more disciplined. We have a lot of aggressive hitters that are still figuring things out a little bit, and I think we’re going to improve over time with that. And I think we’ve shown in stretches where we can score a lot of runs in this league. It’s just about being more consistent on a nightly basis one through nine in the order.”

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