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The Thursday night Orioles game thread: vs. Twins, 7:05

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After sweeping the Athletics and splitting a pair of games against the Mets, the Orioles next take on the Twins starting on Thursday night. Miguel Gonzalez and Tyler Duffey are the starters in the opener.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

You probably don't think about the Twins except when the Orioles play them, and you very likely have never heard of Tyler Duffey before right this second. That's tonight's Twins starter. You already forgot his name even though I just said it two seconds ago. It's Tyler Duffey. That's why the Orioles are going to lose tonight. You know this pattern. We all know it. The guy you've never heard of, or the guy who sucks, or both, is the guy who beats them. Unless it rains tonight, and then they won't lose tonight because there's no game to lose.

Who knows, though? On Tuesday night I sat through a 45 minute rain delay for the threat of inclement weather that never actually arrived. Sometimes weather people are wrong. Sometimes weather people are right and they get ignored. There are a lot of possibilities. The Orioles winning is also a possibility, notwithstanding the hard armor of pessimism that I don daily to protect myself against the crushing blows of disappointment borne by bad luck or bad play.

The O's are 5-1 through the first six games of this homestand, an outcome I would not have considered possible before it began. Remember that I know even less than Jon Snow. But as is my frequent refrain - what's 5-1 in the first six games get you? Nothing if you don't keep winning. The Orioles are still not in a playoff spot. The Twins are a stumbling team that the Orioles need to beat.

They were not stumbling the last time the Orioles played them and the Orioles did not beat them. Things are different now. Hopefully the outcome is different as well.

Today's Lineups

MINNESOTA TWINS BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Byron Buxton - CF Manny Machado - 3B
Brian Dozier - 2B Gerardo Parra - RF
Joe Mauer - 1B Adam Jones - CF
Miguel Sano - DH Chris Davis - 1B
Trevor Plouffe - 3B Matt Wieters - C
Eddie Rosario - LF Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Torii Hunter - RF Steve Clevenger - DH
Kurt Suzuki - C J.J. Hardy - SS
Eduardo Escobar - SS Henry Urrutia - LF
Tyler Duffey - RHP Miguel Gonzalez - RHP