The Orioles have faced each challenge thrown their way this month. After completing an AL East 5-1 road trip, the Birds have no time to stop and breathe.
The first place Texas Rangers are in town for a three-game set over Memorial Day weekend. On top of that, the Orioles will be taking the field with their new City Connect uniforms, making its game debut.
Two of the most surprising teams this season, both teams come in exceeding expectations and getting the attention of the baseball world. The Rangers (31-18) hold a three-game lead in first place over the World Series Champion Houston Astros, while the Orioles (33-17) are off to their best 50-game start since 1997 (35-15).
The series will open with Grayson Rodriguez taking the bump, followed by Dean Kremer and Kyle Bradish. For the Rangers, they open with Jon Gray, followed by Andrew Heaney and Dan Dunning.
In the last meeting, the Orioles won two of three in Texas. During that series, Grayson Rodriguez made his major league debut due to Kyle Bradish getting hit with a come-backer off his ankle.
Prior to the series beginning, the Orioles have reinstated infielder Ramón Urías from the 10-day injured list. Joey Ortiz has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Urías was placed on the IL with left hamstring tightness. He played in two rehab games this week with High-A Aberdeen, one at DH and one in the field.
Ortiz went 7-for-27 in his second stint with the big league club this season, tallying a double, four RBIs and a sacrifice fly in 28 plate appearances.
Heading into this three-game series against the Rangers, the Orioles have won seven of 10. One of the biggest factors has been the team’s pitching, especially the starters.
This weekend, though, we are going to pivot and focus the BATTERY ❌-FACTOR on Adley Rutschman this series.
Rutschman is 10-for-33 (.303) lifetime against Texas. He has collected five doubles, five runs, three RBIs, five strikeouts and seven walks in nine games against the Rangers.
This season against Texas, Rutschman was a non-factor offensively, as he went just 2-for-12 (.167) with a strikeout and walk in the first series. Rutschman will need to improve on those stats this series in order to help guide the Birds to the series win they covet over the weekend.
GAME 1 STARTING LINEUPS
Texas Rangers (31-18): Managed by Bruce Bochy
1. Marcus Semien 2B
2. Corey Seager SS
3. Nathaniel Lowe 1B
4. Adolis García RF
5. Josh Jung 3B
6. Josh H. Smith LF
7. Robbie Grossman DH
8. Leody Taveras CF
9. Sandy León
SP. Jon Gray RHP (4-1, 3.02 ERA)
Baltimore Orioles (33-17): Managed by Brandon Hyde
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Adley Rutschman C
3. Anthony Santander RF
4. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
5. Adam Frazier 2B
6. Austin Hays LF
7. Gunnar Henderson 3B
8. Ryan O’Hearn DH
9. Jorge Mateo SS
SP. Grayson Rodriguez RHP (2-1, 6.21 ERA)
First pitch of this series is slated for 7:05 p.m. EST on Friday night. The City Connect makes its debut tonight. Will it connect the Birds to victory? Tune in on MASN2 or your local Orioles Radio Network station if you can’t make it to the Nest.
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