Game 68: Red Sox (41-27) @ Orioles (38-29), 7:05

USA TODAY Sports

Can Chris Tillman maybe limit himself to giving up one home run, preferably not a grand slam, in tonight's game against the Red Sox?

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In their 67th game last year, the Orioles were on the wrong end of a complete game shutout by R.A. Dickey that left them 2.5 games back in the American League East. After last night's win over Boston, the Orioles are also 2.5 games back in the American League East. In this highly limited way, they are exactly where they were a year before.

The 68th game last year also featured the Orioles on the wrong end of a shutout. So let's hope they stop being like last year in that sense.

To do this tonight, they will need to score a bunch of runs off Ryan Dempster - who, you may have heard, will be making his first ever start at Camden Yards in a 16-year MLB career - while simultaneously not having Chris Tillman give up a billion runs.

Tillman has made seven starts at home this season and has a 5.39 ERA. As kids these days might say, welp. Tillman gives up all the home runs at home. That's what there is to it. He has surrendered 12 in 39 innings pitched at home. This is something of an inevitable consequence of having a fly ball pitcher in the rotation at Camden Yards. Say, who hits a lot of home runs? Oh, right. The Boston Red Sox. Welp.

The Red Sox hitters have a total of 69 PA against Tillman and none have ever hit a home run, but I expect that to change tonight, perhaps before the first inning has concluded.

Here is a piece of good news: Dempster also gives up a lot of home runs. He's given up 14 in 75.2 IP, with nine of these being hit by right-handed batters. Dempster himself is right-handed, so that is unexpected. J.J. Hardy has seen the most of Dempster and has two hits in 28 at-bats. Ouch.

A win tonight pulls the Orioles to 1.5 games back in the East. A loss and we will all hate everyone and everything and feel like the Orioles will never win another game ever again. Standard fare.

I will be in the stands for tonight's game, so other moderator types should be aware that if a certain thread becomes necessary (and I'm not saying it will), you know what must be done.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES BOSTON RED SOX
Nate McLouth - LF Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Shane Victorino - RF
Nick Markakis - RF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Adam Jones - CF David Ortiz - DH
Chris Davis - 1B Mike Carp - 1B
Matt Wieters - C Daniel Nava - LF
J.J. Hardy - SS Jose Iglesias - SS
Chris Dickerson - DH Will Middlebrooks - 3B
Ryan Flaherty - 2B David Ross - C

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