Get a paper bag to breathe into. It's time to panic. Adam Jones isn't in the Orioles lineup tonight after having an awkward slide into home plate back on Thursday. Maybe he could just use one extra day off after that. Maybe it's not anything serious. Maybe he could have used a day off regardless because he's been slumping heavily in May.
Here's hoping it's nothing, because the team needs ones around and playing well if they're going to have much of a chance of doing much, even in this apparently weak edition of the AL East. Speaking of which, if the Orioles win tonight, they'll have won three games in a row for the first time this month. If the Orioles win tonight and the Yankees lose, the Orioles will be tied for the division lead with a .500 record.
That's if the Orioles win tonight, of course. To do so, they could use a good outing from Wei-Yin Chen, and a bad one from the Rays starter, Erasmo Ramirez. It'll be up to the Jones-less Orioles hitters to make Ramirez have a bad night. He's had many bad nights this year, which is how you get a 6.62 ERA heading into your last appearance in May.
The Orioles have yet to win a game this year where they trail after seven innings. So grab a lead early and hold on.
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Brandon Guyer - CF||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Joey Butler - LF||Travis Snider - LF|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Jimmy Paredes - DH|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Steven Souza - RF||Delmon Young - RF|
|Jake Elmore - 1B||Steve Clevenger - C|
|Asdrubal Cabrera - SS||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Tim Beckham - DH||David Lough - CF|
|Rene Rivera - C||Ryan Flaherty - 2B|
|Erasmo Ramirez - RHP||Wei-Yin Chen - LHP|