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The Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Tigers, 1:08

The Orioles won yesterday, which was nice, but that only sets up a rubber game today, which they could also really stand to win. Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers, while Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound for the O's.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander is probably not a very good pitcher any more, but don't tell the Orioles that, because sometimes it seems like the worse the pitcher, the worse that they do. Not that it guarantees they do better against good pitchers, as in yesterday's game against David Price, though of course thanks to a masterful effort by Chris Tillman, they still managed to win that game.

Verlander has only made five starts this year. He's got an ERA north of 5. That's after putting up a 4.54 ERA in a 200+ IP inning season last year. Ain't never gonna be what it was - well, probably not. But if he was going to turn back the clock for one afternoon, it'd probably be today against the Orioles.

Speaking of people who need to turn back the clock, J.J. Hardy continues to bat sixth in the lineup. I know, I know, the lineup doesn't matter, but it's rough watching him out there. Even if Showalter is trying to keep his lefty/switch-hitters and righties staggered, you could swap Jonathan Schoop and Hardy for probable better effect. Schoop at least might run into a pitch and hit it a long way.

Yesterday's narrow win in the pitcher's duel brought the team back to .500, which will have very little meaning unless they win again today and get themselves back over .500. That, too, will have little meaning unless they keep winning series. So go out and get some more hits with RISP today, please - and preferably get a strong start from Miguel Gonzalez, too. Thanks!

Today's Lineups

Manny Machado - 3B Ian Kinsler - 2B
Jimmy Paredes - DH Anthony Gose - CF
Adam Jones - CF Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Chris Davis - RF Victor Martinez - DH
Matt Wieters - C J.D. Martinez - RF
J.J. Hardy - SS Alex Avila - C
Travis Snider - LF Marc Krauss - 1B
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Jose Iglesias - SS
Chris Parmelee - 1B Andrew Romine - 3B
Miguel Gonzalez - RHP Justin Verlander - RHP