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Game 115: Royals (49-64) @ Orioles (61-53), 1:35pm

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"Chris Tillman allowed six earned runs? That simply won't do! I, Tommy Hunter, must be the worst pitcher in this rotation!" Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
"Chris Tillman allowed six earned runs? That simply won't do! I, Tommy Hunter, must be the worst pitcher in this rotation!" Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The game ended after 1am and here we are again. It's not even like it was a very good game. In fact, it was a very bad game, compounded by the fact that those who waited out the three-hour rain delay (apparently only half of the paid crowd) were immediately treated to a Chris Tillman suckfest. It's going to take a long time for me to forgive him.

But there's no sense hiding and moping in baseball. They have to get out there today and beat Bruce Chen. That's all there is to it. I've been resisting referring to games as must-win lately, but after losing two out of three to the Royals, today should feel like must-win. These are not the games they can afford to give away and they've already given away two. Now it's our old friend the jokester, and they probably didn't get much sleep, and the Orioles were certainly lifeless last night - they'd better get over it and get a split in this series.

Now for the problem: Five Runs All Earned: The Tommy Hunter Story. It's getting another chapter today. Two of the five runs will probably be Billy Butler when he inevitably hits two home runs. The question is whether anyone else will be on base as a result of Hunter's pitching to contact when those home runs happen. Maybe he can at least make it six innings or something. Spare the bullpen a gruesome outing. I don't know, man.

Here's what I do know. A wild card contending team has a lineup with Nate McLouth batting third and playing center field. Lew Ford is batting fifth and playing left field. And Hunter as its starting pitcher! Nothing makes sense. I say this a lot with regard to this year's O's and it's always true. None of it makes any sense whatsoever. I still don't understand how they win and I'm not surprised when they lose.

O's, you'd better get back to surprising me today or your happy little run could be finally running out of steam.


Lineup

BALTIMORE ORIOLES KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Nick Markakis - RF Alex Gordon - LF
J.J. Hardy - SS Alcides Escobar - SS
Nate McLouth - CF Mike Moustakas - 3B
Adam Jones - DH Billy Butler - DH
Lew Ford - LF Lorenzo Cain - CF
Mark Reynolds - 1B Jeff Francoeur - RF
Manny Machado - 3B Eric Hosmer - 1B
Robert Andino - 2B Brayan Pena - C
Taylor Teagarden - C Chris Getz - 2B