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Game 4: Orioles (1-2) @ Tigers (2-0), 1:08

An altered Orioles lineup takes the field for a bizarre Friday afternoon game early in the season. The O's will be facing fourth place Cy Young finisher Anibal Sanchez after getting in to Detroit at 4am or later. What could go wrong?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's hardly very fair that the Orioles are having to play in a 1 o'clock afternoon game in a different city on a Friday, but that's life. It's not always fair. Why this is planned on the schedule as such, rather than some emergency measure perpetuated by too much rain, is a mystery. These guys are professionals and they'll have to deal with it. It's a good reason not to get your hopes up, though.

Speaking of mysteries, there is a lack of J.J. Hardy in the lineup. He has a neck spasm, reporters first said, though Hardy later clarified it's a lower back spasm. I'd suggest you prepare yourself for all of Ryan Flaherty, Steve Lombardozzi, and Jonathan Schoop at the same time, but there is no preparing for that. There is only enduring it.

Matt Wieters is also missing from the lineup, but that's less surprising. It's a day game after a night game.

The tarp has been on, off, and on the field again at Comerica Park just in the time I've been writing this post. There is rain in the forecast and the game could be delayed or even postponed. There was talk last night that we may end up with a split doubleheader on Saturday.

All of this lineup upheaval to face off against the fourth place finisher in last year's Cy Young voting, Anibal Sanchez, who will be making his first start of the year. The Orioles are fully capable of beating good pitchers and bad alike, and just as capable of losing to either kind. Whatever happens, here's hoping they look a little better than they did on Thursday.


Nick Markakis - RF Ian Kinsler - 2B
David Lough - LF Torii Hunter - RF
Adam Jones - CF Miguel Cabrera - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Victor Martinez - DH
Nelson Cruz - DH Austin Jackson - CF
Steve Clevenger - C Alex Avila - C
Jonathan Schoop - 3B Nick Castellanos - 3B
Ryan Flaherty - SS Andrew Romine - SS
Steve Lombardozzi - 2B Rajai Davis - LF
Miguel Gonzalez - RHP Anibal Sanchez - RHP