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

It's a packed Camden Yards for a Friday night game against the Royals. Did all of these people buy tickets months ago, or do they just really want a hoodie, or what? Anyway, Danny Duffy and Mike Wright are the starters in the opener.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The idea of this series seemed a lot more exciting earlier in the season. One could have imagined the Orioles and Royals, both battling for postseason spots, kicking off a key September series here this weekend. That was the theory, anyway, but then the Royals curb-stomped their own division and the Orioles were blasted out of the sky towards the end of August.

So what's left? From the looks of it a little over an hour before the first pitch as I write this post, it's still going to be a packed house here tonight nonetheless. I guess a lot of people bought tickets a while ago when it seemed like a better idea. Or else they just really want to get their hands on one of the giveaway hoodies. The usual vultures were streaming out of the stadium even as I arrived, loads tucked under their arms. But most of the recipients look like they will be happy to have one, as soon as the weather is actually cool enough to make use of them - which, it does not seem like that will be the case tonight.

The Orioles need to close out their season by going 14-9 to avoid a losing record. Or if they lose a bunch of games they may get a top 10 draft pick, which is protected from loss even if they sign a qualifying offer free agent. That does sound OK in the abstract but not so much the actual notion of the Orioles having to lose a ton of games to get to that point. Even though they won't make the postseason, can't they win? That would be fun! Winning is fun.

In the series opener, the Orioles draw a matchup against Danny Duffy, who is not nearly as good this year as he was last year - though that may not stop them from not doing so hot. They could stand to score some runs off of Duffy, though, because who knows what you're going to get out of Mike Wright, you know?

Today's Lineups

Ben Zobrist - 2B Nolan Reimold - LF
Alex Gordon - LF Manny Machado - 3B
Lorenzo Cain - CF Adam Jones - CF
Eric Hosmer - 1B Chris Davis - DH
Kendrys Morales - DH Steve Pearce - 1B
Mike Moustakas - 3B Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Salvador Perez - C Caleb Joseph - C
Alex Rios - RF J.J. Hardy - SS
Alcides Escobar - SS Dariel Alvarez - RF
Danny Duffy - LHP Mike Wright - RHP