The Orioles travel to Arlington with their backs against the wall after a Game 2 loss, already facing elimination in the ALDS against a Rangers who have never known a loss this October.
Corey Seager, who set a postseason record with five walks, was completely complemented by a grand slam by Mitch Garver that propelled Texas to an 11-8 victory. Now the Texas team has a chance to sweep the Orioles, something that has never happened in Baltimore in an impressive streak of 91 consecutive series, since May 2022.
“We’ve got to go to Texas and play well,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We didn’t play our best two games here, but we’ve had a good road performance all year, so hopefully we can play well on the road.”
The Rangers are riding a wave of confidence after sweeping the Rays in the Wild Card Series at Tropicana Field, before heading to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to play two games. Texas has rebounded well after losing the AL West title and for the first time since September 26, they will wake up in their own beds.
“I think if we won the division, I would definitely enjoy the break,” said Marcus Semien, “especially after playing every game this year. But we didn’t reach that goal, and we were able to get into a rhythm in (St. Petersburg). “That’s what helped us here in Baltimore.”
The Orioles have shown consistency all season, going 52-29 on the road, but their road to a comeback begins against Nathan Eovaldi. The Rangers right-hander is coming off a season in which he was named to the All-Star Game and had a solid performance in Game 2 against Tampa Bay last week, allowing just one run in 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Game 3 at Globe Life Field:
First pitch is scheduled for 8:03 pm ET/7:03 pm CT on Tuesday.
Who are the openers?
The right-hander has the most experience among the team’s starters at health, and he has more rest after pitching 6.2 innings and giving up one run against the Rays in Texas’ Game 2 Wild Card win. Series. The Rangers ace was unstoppable before a forearm strain sidelined him for six weeks after the All-Star break, and he struggled resulting in a 9.30 ERA in his last six regular-season starts. But postseason star Eovaldi seems to be back and ready to shoulder the team to lead the team to their first ALCS since 2011.
Orioles: Kyle Gibson or Dean Kremer
Baltimore has not announced its starter for Game 3. It will be between Gibson or Kremer, a pair of right-handers who have had solid regular seasons. Gibson, 35, is an 11-year veteran and finished the regular season strong (2.45 ERA in five September outings), while Kremer, 27, had a strong 2023, giving up three earned runs. runs or less in 23 of his 32 starts.
What are the alignments?
Rangers: Bruce Bochy’s wheel in the third at-bat of his lineup stopped Mitch Garver, who had not lost any at-bats this postseason before hitting a grand slam in the Game 2 victory. Bochy could choose Robbie Grossman, who he obviously likes to hit that at-bat, but it’s hard to sit Garver after his five-RBI day.
Bochy also moved rookie Evan Carter from ninth to fifth, between Cuban José Adolis García and Jonah Heim, both of whom were called up to the All-Star Game. Carter hit .500 with a 1.806 OPS in his first four postseason games.
Orioles: With right-hander Eovaldi on the mound, it’s likely that slugger Ryan O’Hearn (.801 OPS in 112 regular-season games) and veteran second baseman Adam Frazier will start for the first time in ALDS. The two left-handed hitters were bench alternatives for Games 1 and 2, when the Rangers brought in left-handed starters Andrew Heaney and Jordan Montgomery.
Who is there and who is not?
Rangers: The rookie duo of Carter and Jung continued their hot start to the postseason, with Carter having a hit and a walk, while Jung had two hits and a walk in Game 2 of the ALDS. Dominican center fielder Leody Taveras is also quietly hitting .333, while Seager is business as usual with a .455/.600/.727 offensive line in October after drawing five walks in Sunday
Semien, the leadoff hitter, had his first multi-hit game of the postseason in Game 2, but Nathaniel Lowe’s struggles at the plate continued after an 0-for-4 day to bump his playoff average to .167. .
Orioles: Hays has reached base in five of his last six plate appearances after going 3 for 4 with a double, two singles and a walk in Game 2. Gunnar Henderson and Aaron Hicks each hit their first home runs this October. . Jorge Mateo went 4-for-4 in his first playoff game, but will likely be an alternate on the bench for Game 3 with right-hander Eovaldi on the mound.
Adley Rutschman ended his drought (0-for-7) with a double in the eighth inning in Game 2. Cedric Mullins, who finished the regular season with a 2-for-36 slump, is now 0-for-7 to start the postseason.