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The Sunday night Orioles game thread: vs. Royals, 8:05

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A Sunday night matchup between the Orioles and Royals that surely seemed like a bigger deal when it was announced has finally arrived. Maybe it will be a good game or something.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, the Orioles. What are we going to do with them? As with all sports, there's not a dang thing we can do, of course. They are what they are, and will be what they will be, largely independent of anything that any of us do. Tonight they get the national TV stage all to themselves... well, the national baseball stage, anyway. Hordes of other human beings will probably be watching the first Sunday night football game of the year instead. They're welcome to it.

Tonight's Royals starter, Johnny Cueto, was a big ticket addition at the trading deadline. So far he hasn't worked out as well as they might have liked, including the last time he faced the Orioles, a game in which the O's scored six runs against Cueto in five innings. That included three home runs hit in the Kansas City stadium. In fact, Cueto's first four starts in the AL were quality starts (6 IP or more, 3 ER or fewer) but his last four were not.

We all know the big problem with the Orioles lately. The starting rotation has been a hot mess. Wei-Yin Chen, tonight's starter has been the best of the bunch this season, but even he's been prone to bad outings, including his two most recent starts. As a whole, the Royals have been about an average AL team against left-handed pitching this year - a .273/.322/.400 batting line. What's that mean tonight? I don't know. We'll find out.

Today's Lineups

Alex Gordon - LF Nolan Reimold - LF
Ben Zobrist - 2B Manny Machado - 3B
Lorenzo Cain - CF Chris Davis - 1B
Eric Hosmer - 1B Adam Jones - CF
Kendrys Morales - DH Gerardo Parra - RF
Mike Moustakas - 3B Matt Wieters - C
Salvador Perez - C Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Alex Rios - RF Steve Clevenger - DH
Alcides Escobar - SS J.J. Hardy - SS
Johnny Cueto - RHP Wei-Yin Chen - LHP