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The Saturday night Orioles game thread: at Rays, 6:10

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Two games remain in the Trop for the Orioles, including this Saturday night contest. Wei-Yin Chen will have to face one of the better lineups in the AL against lefties. Erasmo Ramirez is the scheduled Rays starter.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's an awful shame to lose a game when managing to score six runs, but that's where the Orioles were last night. We can only hope they haven't used up their runs for the remainder of the series in scoring that six last night - and also that tonight's starting pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen, has a much better day than did Tyler Wilson.

Tampa, unfortunately for Chen, has been one of the better-hitting American League teams when facing lefty pitchers this season. Their collective .259/.324/.427 batting line against southpaws is good for the fifth best OPS against lefties in the AL. The Orioles, by comparison, are 13th, a whopping 71 points of OPS below the Rays. This is not a challenge for the Orioles on this particular night because Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez is not a lefty.

Ramirez is not a pitcher who has done well when facing the Orioles this year, which is one encouraging sign. He's made three starts and given up nine earned runs over 18.1 innings of work. I guess that could be worse for him. The two most recent starts, July 25 and September 2, had him give up all nine of the runs in 11.1 combined innings. If that trend continues to develop, better for the Orioles.

As things stand right now, the Orioles need to go 9-6 over their final 15 games in order to have a .500 record. Eight of those 15 games will be on the road, where the Orioles are not good - and ten of the 15 will be against teams with winning records, against whom the Orioles are also not good this season. It is an uphill battle they can only take one game at a time. It would take a three game winning streak starting today just to get back to .500. Even that seems impossible.

Today's Lineups

Gerardo Parra - RF Brandon Guyer - LF
Manny Machado - 3B Richie Shaffer - 3B
Chris Davis - 1B Evan Longoria - DH
Adam Jones - CF Logan Forsythe - 2B
Steve Clevenger - DH Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Jonathan Schoop - 2B James Loney - 1B
Matt Wieters - C Steven Souza - RF
Steve Pearce - LF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
J.J. Hardy - SS Luke Maile - C
Wei-Yin Chen - LHP Erasmo Ramirez - RHP