Former A's left-hander Cole Irvin (1-3, 4.92 ERA), who hopes to solidify a spot in the Orioles' late-season rotation, is slated to return to Oakland — where he enjoyed his share of success the last two seasons.
The Athletics will counter with a lefty of their own, Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 6.07), in an attempt to slow a Baltimore team that has 33 runs in its last four matchups with Oakland this season.
Having seen four of his pitchers raked for nine runs and 16 hits in a 9-4 loss on Friday night, A's manager Mark Kotsay seemed to give Waldichuk some advice in his postgame press conference.
"That lineup's a good lineup. You make mistakes, they are going to capitalize on it," Kotsay said. "This team is going to hit mistakes. They are aggressive. They control the (strike) zone. We've just got to do a better job of keeping the ball down in the zone."
The 25-year-old is winless in his last seven starts, posting an 0-2 record with a 4.71 ERA while his team is 1-6 in that stretch.
The A's did their old pal Irvin no favors when they saw him in the earlier series in Baltimore.
Irvin began the season in the Orioles' rotation but was sent to the minors after three poor efforts, including allowing six runs in four innings in an 8-7 home win over the A's on April 13. He went 0-2 with a 10.66 ERA in those three games that month.
The 29-year-old was a rousing success in his return to the starting rotation last Saturday in Seattle, giving up two hits over five shutout innings in a no-decision. It was his first start since July 7.
Like Waldichuk, Irvin will make his second career start against Saturday's opponent. But in Irvin's case, it will be his 33rd start at the Oakland Coliseum, where he has gone 9-12 with a 3.44 ERA.
Irvin went 19-28 with a 4.11 ERA in 62 starts for A's in 2021 and 2022. He was so highly coveted by the Orioles that they dealt infield prospect Darell Hernaiz to Oakland in January. Hernaiz has yet to make his major league debut.
Irvin is more concerned with what's going on with his new team, which has seen manager Brandon Hyde experiment of late with a six-man starting staff.
"We're going to try to give guys extra days as we go along here. Try to keep our starting pitching as fresh as possible," Hyde said. "We'd definitely look at giving Cole more starts. You never know. Things happen quickly. That's our plan right now with Cole there, to give guys extra days."
—Field Level Media