Be very afraid, friends. The Mariners have jammed as many left-handed hitters into their lineup as they can manage here, and that's a tough thing for Chris Tillman (.791 OPS against by lefties in 2016) to have to face. Even without that challenge, there would be the simple fact that it's hard for a baseball team to win eight games in a row.
The Orioles have had two chances to do so already this year - an uncommon enough circumstance - and have not yet managed to do so. Maybe the third time will prove to be the charm? That would be rather fun. A win tonight, on top of giving them a season-high eight game streak, would guarantee they gain a half game on the idle Red Sox.
There's been a bit of a shift change on the roster before tonight's game. Caleb Joseph makes his return from his unfortunate testicular injury, which means Francisco Pena heads back down to the minors. Also, Oliver Drake, who labored through garbage time in San Diego, has been sent to Norfolk, and T.J. McFarland, who also labord through some garbage time, hits the disabled list himself with a left knee injury.
Vance Worley also returns from the disabled list, and Chaz Roe appears at the MLB level for the first time in 2016 as well. If any of those gentlemen factor in tonight's game, things have probably gone awry in some way or another.
Oh, and about that home run thing you might have heard about? Well, the Orioles only have to hit one tonight to have the June record all to themselves. They're currently tied for the record with 55. And the MLB overall monthly record of 58 is even within striking distance, so to speak, especially with a homer-prone Mariners starter in Taijuan Walker. Three home runs is asking a lot, but if anybody could manage to do it, it's the Orioles.
Here's hoping they don't get extra laser-focused on hitting homers because of the record, so much that they end up hurting their chances both of hitting homers and winning the game. A win that doesn't involve homers would be just as great.
I really like this lineup.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Leonys Martin - CF|
|Hyun Soo Kim - LF||Seth Smith - LF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Nelson Cruz - RF|
|Mark Trumbo - RF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Dae-Ho Lee - 1B|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Adam Lind - DH|
|Pedro Alvarez - DH||Chris Iannetta - C|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Ketel Marte - SS|
|Chris Tillman - RHP||Taijuan Walker - RHP|