CHICAGO – The Orioles are making their first trip to Wrigley Field since June 2008 for the three-game series against the Cubs that begins Friday afternoon.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta, who has flourished with the Cubs, will face his former team for the first time. Right-hander Kevin Gausman pitches for the Orioles.
Arrieta, sent to the Cubs in July 2013, is 6-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 19 starts this season. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in four of his past five starts.
Gausman has won three of his past four starts, including a six-inning, two-hit, one-run outing in Cleveland on Sunday.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that injured third baseman Manny Machado will not begin baseball activities this week as he had hoped. Showalter hoped that Machado could be back when eligible Wednesday if he resumed baseball activities by Sunday, but that won’t happen, Showalter said.
“I'll probably try to bring some clarity and everything to where we are with that situation, try to gather exactly what he's being told, as far as when baseball activities would start and all that stuff," the manager said. "I'll try to clear that up for you probably [Saturday] and get a more definitive idea.
"No plan [to start baseball activities] right now. I talked to him a little bit today, have a little bit better idea of how that's proceeding. It's kind of tough with the day games and everything."
Since the Orioles are playing in a National League park, pitchers will hit. And with no designated hitter, it was impossible to get Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young all in the lineup.
So Young will sit today, even though Pearce is dealing with an illness. Showalter said he prepared two lineup cards, one with Pearce and the other without.
Playing at Wrigley also means playing the ivy wall with brick beyond it. There’s no wall like it in the majors.
“We’re going to talk about it,” Showalter said. “That’s why you don’t see very many good catches there against the fence. You’d have to ask them why it’s not padded. We’ll do the preparation. The same thing with the [bullpen] mounds on the field. I don’t know where they put them. It’s one thing to talk about that. I doubt they even consider it a problem, so we shouldn’t either."
Here are both teams’ starting lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Chris Davis 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Caleb Joseph C
Kevin Gausman RHP
Arismendy Alcantara CF
Javier Baez SS
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Luis Valbueno 3B
Chris Coglan LF
Ryan Sweeney RF
Logan Watkins 2B
John Baker C
Jake Arrieta RHP