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Saturday night Orioles game thread: at Royals, 7:15

Two losses in a row for the Orioles aren't the end of the world. They're still in first place! But if they lose tonight, it's definitely all over, so they should go ahead and win.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are either in the middle of a crisis or just hitting a bump in the road from which they will easily recover. In truth, neither tonight's game nor tomorrow's will be sufficient to answer which of the two of these it is, but they're going to make it feel a heck of a lot like the answer is one or the other. The only Orioles game there is to worry about today is this one, so they might as well win it, right?

If they're going to win it, they could probably use a strong and deep outing from Chris Tillman. That may be a lot to ask in his second start back from the disabled list. We saw last night that even with Thursday's rainout and Dylan Bundy going six innings, that still wasn't enough to avoid bullpen weirdness, with Vidal Nuno pitching the eighth inning of a tie game. Are the better relievers more available today? Will they get a chance to get into the contest? Will they pitch at their best if they do get into the game?

There's a lot going on, probably more behind the scenes than we even realize. Why is Hyun Soo Kim still not playing even though the Orioles are facing a right-handed pitcher tonight? Why has Darren O'Day not pitched since Monday?

Today's Lineups

Seth Smith - RF Alcides Escobar - SS
Adam Jones - CF Mike Moustakas - 3B
Manny Machado - 3B Lorenzo Cain - CF
Chris Davis - 1B Eric Hosmer - 1B
Mark Trumbo - DH Salvador Perez - C
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Jorge Bonifacio - LF
Trey Mancini - LF Jorge Soler - RF
J.J. Hardy - SS Brandon Moss - DH
Francisco Pena - C Whit Merrifield - 2B
Chris Tillman - RHP Nathan Karns - RHP