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Game 115: Cardinals (61-52) @ Orioles (65-49), 7:05

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The Orioles put their major league best division lead on the line on Friday night. There will be fireworks and lasers after the game, and lots of Orioles Hall of Famers. Chris Tillman pitches for the O's, with Justin Masterson starting for the Cardinals.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals always travel well, so they say, and preliminary observation of the crowd one hour before first pitch suggests that what they say is true. There is a lot of red, only for once it's not Red Sox fans, so that's an improvement over the usual. Tonight's game, Friday night against a top-tier team that travels well, is one of the most expensive regular season games of the season. It's probably going to sell out.

You know it's a big deal when all of the local TV stations are set up on the field trying to do spots for the 6 o'clock news. You'd almost think it was some kind of preseason game or something. No, this one counts. It counts so much that Tom Verducci is prowling the field as I write these words.

There are going to be fireworks and lasers after the game. I hope the game doesn't suck.

Today's Lineups

Matt Carpenter - 3B Nick Markakis - RF
Kolten Wong - 2B Manny Machado - 3B
Matt Holliday - DH Adam Jones - CF
Matt Adams - 1B Nelson Cruz - DH
Jhonny Peralta - SS Chris Davis - 1B
Oscar Taveras - RF J.J. Hardy - SS
A.J. Pierzynski - C Ryan Flaherty - 2B
Jon Jay - LF David Lough - LF
Peter Bourjos - CF Nick Hundley - C
Justin Masterson - RHP Chris Tillman - RHP