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Orioles look to win finale vs. Cardinals as Rays series looms

Sep 6, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA;  Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (48) pitches during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

With a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays looming, the Baltimore Orioles will first look to win their three-game set against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

The Orioles split the first two games against the Cardinals and lead the Rays by three games in the American League East after both teams lost on Tuesday.

Baltimore right-hander Kyle Gibson (14-8, 5.12 ERA) opposes a former Orioles prospect, left-hander Drew Rom (0-2, 7.79), in Wednesday’s rubber game.

Gibson has allowed three or more runs in each of his past six starts — including nine against the Mariners on Aug. 11 — while watching his ERA climb from 4.50 to 5.12. Thanks in part to its offense, Baltimore is 4-2 in those starts and the 11-year veteran has set a career high in wins.

“I still think there’s something to be said about pitching with the lead and getting a win out of it,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Gibson’s win total.

“There is some luck involved. You have to pitch well to have that many wins. You have to pitch well with a lead, and he’s done a great job with that this year.”

In his last outing on Sept. 12, Gibson beat the Angles, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked two.

He is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts versus St. Louis.

Rom, 23, was pitching for Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk when he was dealt to the Cardinals with two other players for veteran pitcher Jack Flaherty at the trade deadline.

Rom will make his fifth major league start and face the Cardinals for the first time. In his most recent outing, Friday against the Reds in Cincinnati, the Kentucky native gave up four earned runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“The ball got rolling and next thing I know, I’m in Memphis, and then two weeks later I’m up here in the big leagues with the Cardinals making my debut,” he said. “And then I get to check two things off my checklist with playing in Cincinnati and debuting, and the third, playing against the Orioles in Camden.”

Rom has struggled with his control, walking 10 in 17 1/3 innings.

Tuesday night belonged to the Cardinals’ Richie Palacios and Adam Wainwright. Palacios, who entered the game as a pinch hitter, hit two solo home runs to help the 42-year-old Wainwright earn career win No. 199 in the Cardinals’ 5-2 win.

Wainwright (4-11) had been stuck on 198 since June 17. Paul Goldschmidt also homered for the Cardinals (64-81).

Two Cardinals left the game with injuries. Second baseman Nolan Gorman departed with right hamstring tightness after running to first on a fielder’s choice in the second inning, and catcher Willson Contreras left with a hand contusion.

Baltimore starter John Means, who was making his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2022, took the loss. He worked five innings and gave up three runs on five hits.

Gunnar Henderson had two hits and a walk for the Orioles (91-53). Baltimore went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

“Every game right now is important,” Hyde said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best night offensively. Had traffic all night but couldn’t push runs across, unfortunately. But it was nice to see (Means) out there.”

–Field Level Media