The Orioles return to the division for the weekend, so winning games is even nicer. Every time you win it means another team in the closely-packed AL East is losing a game in the process. Are the O's up to the task of beating Nate Karns? They have won two games that he started already this year, with Karns facing off against Wei-Yin Chen in both of those games. Tonight it'll be Miguel Gonzalez.
That could be a good sign for the O's with Gonzalez having pitched better at home so far this year. He has a 2.93 ERA in his home starts as opposed to a 4.78 ERA on the road. Not that this guarantees he'll pitch well tonight. Gonzalez only has three quality starts in nine tries this season, though he has thus far gotten the most runs per start out of any Orioles starting pitcher. That is how you end up with a 3.83 ERA and a 5-3 record.
If the Orioles manage to win tonight's game, it'll be the 400th win of Buck Showalter's Orioles career. He's fourth on the franchise manager wins list, with the next one up to pass being third place Hank Bauer, who has 407.
The Orioles are 20-0 when they lead after seven innings and 0-21 when they trail after seven innings. That is a difference so stark that it seems meaningful. Can a team be equipped to get leads early, sometimes, but not mount rallies against the tough relievers in the back end of a bullpen? That is a possibility, and it's possible the Orioles are a team with that problem. So let's hope they hit Karns early tonight.
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Kevin Kiermaier - CF||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Joey Butler - DH||Travis Snider - RF|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Jimmy Paredes - DH|
|David DeJesus - LF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Steven Souza - RF||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Asdrubal Cabrera - SS||David Lough - LF|
|Jake Elmore - 1B||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Rene Rivera - C||Ryan Flaherty - 2B|
|Nate Karns - RHP||Miguel Gonzalez - RHP|