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Orioles Game 108 Game Thread: at White Sox, 8:10

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One game is only ever just one game out of 162. Sometimes, though, a particular single game seems to take on extra meaning in our minds, even when it is still just one Orioles game.

Friday's contest is just such an affair. Not only is there the importance of the Orioles, tied atop the AL East, looking to hold on to their top spot - and possibly even gain ground if the Blue Jays stumble. No. There is also the added factor of the Orioles facing former Oriole Miguel Gonzalez in the game - with the O's free agent signing from the offseason, Yovani Gallardo, facing the White Sox.

So it's only one game yet in a way it will end up seeming like a referendum on a big offseason decision. Suppose Gonzalez dominates the Orioles and Gallardo is Gallardo. Then everyone will think, "Well, why didn't they just keep Gonzalez?" Why, indeed. That doesn't rank among the best decisions the O's have made. So far they have not been harmed by that decision, though two months and the entirety of next year remain for them to keep regretting it.

Not to beat a dead horse, but a whole lot of the offense has sucked since either the All-Star break or the start of July. That's going to need to change, no matter how well the starting rotation pitches (and it probably won't keep pitching well), if the Orioles are going to stay up top. Maybe it will start to change tonight against Gonzalez.

Today's Lineups

Adam Jones - CF Adam Eaton - CF
Hyun Soo Kim - LF Tyler Saladino - SS
Manny Machado - 3B Melky Cabrera - LF
Chris Davis - 1B Jose Abreu - 1B
Mark Trumbo - RF Justin Morneau - DH
Pedro Alvarez - DH Todd Frazier - 3B
Matt Wieters - C Avisail Garcia - RF
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Dioner Navarro - C
J.J. Hardy - SS Carlos Sanchez - 2B
Yovani Gallardo - RHP Miguel Gonzalez - RHP