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The Thursday night Orioles game thread: at Rays, 7:10

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Well, at least Chris Tillman isn't facing the Blue Jays on Thursday night - although he's still been bad against the Rays, just a much less revolting level of bad. The Orioles face Matt Moore in the series opener at the Trop.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Some time when I wasn't paying attention to the Rays, the Orioles passed them in the standings. Does that mean the Rays are officially a Bad Team and the Orioles have permission to not suck against them? Although the Orioles must still overcome their general struggle on the road.

This is the part where I'd like to say that at least Orioles starter Chris Tillman hasn't struggled on the road, except he has. His numbers, in the aggregate, are bad at home and on the road. Yet if one was inclined to make excuses for one Christopher Steven Tillman, one would surely note that Tillman has given up 31 of his 86 earned runs in only five Blue Jays starters, and the Orioles are of course not playing the Blue Jays tonight. Against all non-Jays teams, Tillman has a 3.66 ERA!

But the person who made that excuse would, if they were being objective, also need to note that Tillman has also made five starts against the Rays and while he hasn't been mind-blowingly terrible against this Tampa Bay team, he has allowed 16 earned runs in 30 innings over those games. That's a 4.80 ERA, a more mundane level of bad that is nonetheless still bad.

Speaking of Tillman being bad against the Rays, Evan Longoria has hit six home runs in 51 plate appearances against the O's starter. Not all omens are awful today however, as Adam Jones has a 1.422 OPS in 23 PA against Rays starter Matt Moore. A previous incarnation of Matt Wieters - 2013 and earlier - also had a 1.718 OPS against Moore in 17 PA. So maybe one of those guys will have a nice night, and maybe Tillman will be good enough? That would be fun.

Today's Lineups

Nolan Reimold - LF John Jaso - DH
Manny Machado - 3B Brandon Guyer - LF
Chris Davis - DH Evan Longoria - 3B
Adam Jones - CF Logan Forsythe - 2B
Matt Wieters - C James Loney - 1B
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Steven Souza - RF
Steve Pearce - 1B Tim Beckham - SS
J.J. Hardy - SS Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Dariel Alvarez - RF Luke Maile - C
Chris Tillman - RHP Matt Moore - LHP