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May 3, 2024 1:28 am

Orioles roll into Cincinnati to face reeling Reds

Hunter Greene

A series win over the New York Yankees this week further confirmed that the Baltimore Orioles are a legitimate contender.

The Cincinnati Reds hope they are getting closer to the point where they can resume a similar metamorphosis.

The Orioles will look to build on that momentum and the Reds will hope to snap out of a slump Friday night when Baltimore visits Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

Left-hander Cole Irvin (2-1, 3.49 ERA) is slated to start for the Orioles against Reds right-hander Hunter Greene (1-2, 3.63).

The Orioles moved into sole possession of first place in the American League East on Thursday afternoon, when they beat the visiting Yankees 7-2 in the finale of a four-game series.

The Reds had a day off after concluding a 2-4 road trip with a 6-2 loss to the San Diego Padres in the rubber game of a three-game set on Wednesday.

Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish, making his season debut after recovering from a right elbow injury sustained in February, combined with four relievers on a six-hitter to complete an impressive series by Baltimore pitchers.

The Orioles, the defending AL East champions, took three of four from the Yankees while outscoring them 13-6 and limiting New York to 22 hits.

The Yankees arrived in Baltimore after outscoring the Milwaukee Brewers 36-15 in a three-game weekend series.

“Thought we threw the ball great,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “That might have been our best-pitched series, honestly, from the starts we got to how the bullpen pitched against a really good offensive team that was swinging the bats so well coming in.”

The Reds, who finished two games out of a National League wild-card spot last year after losing 100 games in 2022, continued to struggle on offense while dropping the final two games to the Padres. Cincinnati is 0-2-1 in its last three series since recording a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels from April 19-21.

Seven of the Reds’ starters Wednesday are batting below .225. Cincinnati has scored three runs or fewer in nine of 16 games since April 15.

Right fielder Jake Fraley missed six games in that span while second baseman Jonathan India was sidelined for four games, both due to illness. Fraley, who is hitless in 11 at-bats since returning Sunday, sat out the final two games against the Padres.

“We’re keeping everything in perspective,” center fielder Stuart Fairchild said following the Wednesday loss. “I think actually we’re doing a really good job of competing and making do with what we’re working with.”

Both Irvin and Greene earned wins with scoreless seven-inning outings on Saturday. Irvin allowed four hits in the Orioles’ 7-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics, while Greene surrendered just one hit — a fifth-inning double — as the Reds beat the Texas Rangers 8-4.

Irvin is 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Reds. Greene has never opposed the Orioles in his three major league seasons.

–Field Level Media

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