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The Friday night Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 7:10

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Former Oriole Rich Hill is starting for the Red Sox tonight. He hasn't started at the MLB level before this year since his horrible Orioles tenure of 2009. The Orioles need to beat him and the Sox, period, the end.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Old friend alert. Tonight's Red Sox starter, Rich Hill, was briefly on the Orioles. He was, as a matter of fact, a peripheral figure in that grand comeback against the Red Sox back on June 30, 2009, which the Camden Chatters of the day proclaimed to be Birdland Day. I hope you can forgive our innocence. We had no idea then how much better things could be.

In any case, the reason it needed to be a grand comeback is because Hill totally sucked that day, giving up nine runs (seven earned) in 3.1 innings of work. That's fitting for a late-00s (and mid-00s, and early-00s) Orioles starting pitcher... for that matter it would be fitting for a 2015 Orioles starting pitcher. But he is on the Red Sox now. Since surfacing with the Sox this year, he had not started a game at the MLB level since his Orioles tenure. He has made all of two starts and has been very good in those starts.

If the Orioles' dim playoff hopes are ever going to get any brighter, they've got to keep winning games. Fighting back to .500 only to get knocked back below it by Hill would be a very 2015 O's thing to do, so let's hope that doesn't end up happening. They might even end up doing fine against Hill and it still doesn't matter because Kevin Gausman performs poorly against the Sox lineup, especially the vandal David Ortiz, who lurks over the plate against all right-handed pitchers.

The misguided souls among us who still harbor those playoff hopes will need to root for some help from elsewhere in the league tonight. On top of needing the Orioles to win - the case essentially every day from here on out - we also need the Rangers to beat the Astros, the Tigers to beat the Twins, and the Mariners to beat the Angels. The O's are 3.5 games back of Houston but will have to pass those other two teams, both of whom are 1.5 back, at some point in time if they are going to have any hope of the postseason.

Today's Lineups

BALTIMORE ORIOLES BOSTON RED SOX
Nolan Reimold - CF Mookie Betts - RF
Manny Machado - 3B Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Chris Davis - 1B Xander Bogaerts - SS
Steve Pearce - LF David Ortiz - DH
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Travis Shaw - 1B
Caleb Joseph - C Deven Marrero - 3B
J.J. Hardy - SS Brock Holt - LF
Christian Walker - DH Sandy Leon - C
Dariel Alvarez - RF Jackie Bradley - CF
Kevin Gausman - RHP Rich Hill - LHP