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The Friday night Orioles game thread: vs. Yankees, 7:05

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The Yankees come to town as the Orioles get a chance to win their fifth straight and return to .500 for the first time in over a month. Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for the O's, with Michael Pineda starting for New York.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

For a random game in June, a fair bit is riding on this Orioles-Yankees contest, at least from the O's perspective. They have a chance to extend a season-long winning streak to five games. With a win, they would climb back to a .500 record for the first time since way back when they were 12-12 after a loss on May 5. That's a long time to be hanging below .500 for a team that wants to tell itself that it's a serious contender. If they lose tonight it'll be even longer that they hang below .500.

For all of that, they're only four games back of the division-leading Yankees. In the unlikely event that the Orioles would somehow manage to sweep this series, they would end it two games over .500 and only one game back of the division lead.

Let's not act like there is a ton of a chance for that to happen, though. The Orioles are facing Michael Pineda tonight. The last time they did so, they struck out 16 times in seven innings. It's bananas. How does that even happen? Pineda has not passed double digit strikeouts in any other game. The Orioles are that talented at swinging and missing, or occasionally at not swinging at two-strike pitches that may or may not actually be strikes.

Starting for the O's is the wild man, Ubaldo Jimenez, who walked six guys in his last start. He has been good this year, but he hasn't been good enough for long enough that it doesn't make me nervous when I see that he's starting a game. Anyway, hopefully the game ends up being awesome.

Today's Lineups

NEW YORK YANKEES BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Brett Gardner - LF Manny Machado - 3B
Chase Headley - 3B Jimmy Paredes - DH
Alex Rodriguez - DH Adam Jones - CF
Mark Teixeira - 1B Chris Davis - 1B
Brian McCann - C J.J. Hardy - SS
Carlos Beltran - RF Travis Snider - RF
Didi Gregorius - SS Nolan Reimold - LF
Stephen Drew - 2B Ryan Flaherty - 2B
Mason Williams - CF Caleb Joseph - C
Michael Pineda - RHP Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP