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The Memorial Day afternoon game thread: vs. Astros, 1:35

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The Orioles failed to win a series against a struggling team and now they must try to win one against a team that's firing on all cylinders. Wei-Yin Chen starts for the O's and Dallas Keuchel for the Astros in the opener.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

"Time will not dim the glory of their deeds," read the inscription outside of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. That facade was preserved and you can still see it along the sidewalk heading from Lots B and C into Oriole Park at Camden Yards. On Memorial Day, I won't try to put it any better than that.

**

As far as the Orioles team that's going to take the field today, well, it's probably something of a hopeless cause. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel has a sub-2.00 ERA, which is ridiculous for a starter to still be carrying late in May, even in this era. Houston is the low average home run hitting team that the Orioles probably wish they were. They have the best record in the AL, which is crazy, and it doesn't look like they show any signs of stopping.

Meanwhile the Orioles are once again three games below .500, which is somehow good enough to be only three games out of the division lead. One stretch of games where the Orioles win like eight out of ten and they're probably in first place or very close to it.

Seven of their next twelve games are against these Astros. Another three are against division-leading Tampa Bay. The O's will have plenty of chances to help themselves out by winning games. Whether their lineup or pitching or both are up to the task is another thing.

By the way, no matter how awesome or terrible this particular game is or isn't, don't hang around on the edge of your seat waiting for a recap after its conclusion. It will not be prompt as I will be in the stands today and only writing once I get back home.

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS BALTIMORE ORIOLES
George Springer - RF Manny Machado - 3B
Jose Altuve - 2B Jimmy Paredes - DH
Luis Valbuena - 3B Adam Jones - CF
Evan Gattis - DH Delmon Young - RF
Chris Carter - 1B Steve Pearce - 1B
Preston Tucker - LF J.J. Hardy - SS
Jonathan Villar - SS Caleb Joseph - C
Hank Conger - C Everth Cabrera - 2B
Jake Marisnick - CF Alejandro De Aza - LF
Dallas Keuchel - LHP Wei-Yin Chen - LHP