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The Wednesday evening Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 7:10

It's the least effective Orioles starter, Bud Norris, facing off against the most effective Red Sox one, Clay Buchholz. Who will own it? We'll find out on Wednesday night!

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Jones continues to be absent from the Orioles lineup, but have no fear, for T.J. McFarland is in the bullpen in place of Oliver Drake. That's just the answer to everything!

Why McFarland, why tonight? Well, maybe it's because Bud Norris is starting for the O's, and they need to be double extra prepared for a possible extended long relief situation. It is good to be prepared, although it's even better if you don't have a problem you have to prepare for in the first place. We'll see - maybe this is a better Bud than we've gotten earlier on this year. I am not going to be holding my breath.

Meanwhile, Orioles hitters will be facing off against the grease master himself, Clay Buchholz. His Greasiness has been one of the better Red Sox starters this year, which is surely not saying much. Still, he's the only one with an ERA under 4 out of the five guys who've made at least seven starts for Boston this year. He is striking out more people than ever, walking fewer people than ever ... actually, given that, a 3.87 ERA is kind of dismal, but perhaps he's being hurt by Boston's defense.

The division-leading Rays have already lost today, so this is the O's chance to pick up a game on them. As it is, the AL East at this moment has four teams bunched within two games of one another at the top.

Today's Lineups

Manny Machado - 3B Mookie Betts - CF
Chris Parmelee - RF Brock Holt - 1B
Jimmy Paredes - DH Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Chris Davis - 1B David Ortiz - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Hanley Ramirez - LF
Travis Snider - LF Xander Bogaerts - SS
Ryan Flaherty - 2B Pablo Sandoval - 3B
Caleb Joseph - C Alejandro De Aza - RF
David Lough - CF Sandy Leon - C
Bud Norris - RHP Clay Buchholz - RHP