The Yankees have already lost on Thursday afternoon, so the stakes for the Orioles are pretty simple. Win and they pick up a game. Lose and they tread water. The magic number has already shrunk to 25, which is nice, but wouldn't 24 with 30 to play be so much nicer? It would indeed.
To get there, the hitters will have to un-suck themselves against Jeremy Hellickson following their poor performance in against Drew Smyly. What could possibly go wrong with that plan? But then, the Orioles hitters have been succeeding against the unlikely and failing against the equally unlikely for some time now. So really, who knows.
In a related story, tonight's designated hitter is Steve Clevenger. It's a bold statement. Or maybe not so bold, because with two Steves in the lineup, there's twice the potential for Team Steve magic. This could be the new market inefficiency.
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Desmond Jennings - CF||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||Steve Pearce - 1B|
|Matt Joyce - LF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Nelson Cruz - LF|
|James Loney - 1B||Chris Davis - 3B|
|Wil Myers - DH||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Yunel Escobar - SS||Steve Clevenger - DH|
|Jose Molina - C||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Kevin Kiermaier - RF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Jeremy Hellickson - RHP||Bud Norris - RHP|