A good deal of injuries for O’s and Pirates
The Pirates come into the series after taking two of three from the dysfunctional Mets, including scoring 12 and 11 runs in their victories.
The Orioles come in after a split four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, in which the Orioles took the first two games but then kept at bay by David Price and Chris Sale in the next two. The Orioles got to Sale, but a crucial defensive mistake by catcher Francisco Pena let the tie game slip away.
The Pirates come into the series relatively healthy. They are without their backup catcher, Chris Stewart, two relievers in Antonio Bastardo and Josh Lindblom. They also are awaiting the return of Jameson Tallion, who had surgery for testicular cancer but has already had one rehab start and is expected back soon.
Two of the players the Pirates miss the most are self-inflicted. Marte is serving his suspension, and Jung Ho Kang was charged with DUI and does not have a work visa to leave South Korea.
The Orioles are missing their starting catcher, Welington Castillo, due to his testicular injury, although he could return as early as this weekend. Closer Zach Britton remains out with no timetable yet for his return, and there is no word yet on when Ryan Flaherty will be ready to come back yet either.
The Orioles apparently are missing two key pieces in the series, but have been able to get along pretty well with Caleb Joseph behind the plate and Brad Brach as the closer, although the middle of the bullpen has certainly suffered.