Game 97: Orioles (53-43) @ Rangers (54-41), 8:05

Rob Carr

The All-Star Break is over, but with the Orioles facing a left-handed starter in Texas, will their hitters get the memo?

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Congratulations to all of us for surviving four days without Orioles baseball. The All-Star Break is finally, mercifully, at an end. Now, let's just hope that the Orioles hitters get the memo that their break time is over, because they'll be facing their nemesis, a left-handed starter.

They actually faced Derek Holland just eleven days ago and got ten hits off of him in 6.2 innings, but only scored three runs. That may have been enough to win the game on a day where Scott Feldman did not give up seven runs himself, but that's the way these things go.

Wei-Yin Chen gets the ball for the Orioles to start off the second half. Does this mean he's their #1 starter? Who cares? He has gotten the best results so far in his limited innings, but he's also about to pitch in Arlington in the Texas summer heat. If it's bad with the home runs in Baltimore, imagine how it'll be there? The biggest home run threat, Nelson Cruz, is out with a migraine, so at least that's something for Chen.

The last game that the Orioles played in Texas ended up with a champagne shower in the visiting locker room, with Joe Saunders as the winning pitcher. That was kind of awesome. There's no more Josh Hamilton to kick around with lefty-lefty matchups there. Texas is 18-12 against lefty starters this year. No slouches.

At least with four days off, the O's have had a chance for players to rest up some of the dings and dents of the season. Here's hoping that the time off gets them refreshed and focused to finish up strong.

Were you looking forward to seeing Henry Urrutia tonight? Well, he's not in the starting lineup, probably because Holland is a lefty. He will be on the bench, so maybe he'll make his debut as a pinch-hitter against a bullpen righty in the later innings of the game. Personally, I'm looking forward to hearing Gary Thorne try to pronounce Urrutia, but I've heard it's a Jim Hunter game tonight anyway. So it goes.



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