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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Twins, 2:10

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Ready or not, Ubaldo Jimenez is pitching for the Orioles in the last game before the All-Star break. The O’s take on Kyle Gibson and the rest of the Twins.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are at the final Orioles game before the All-Star break. A season that could not have seemed more exciting two months ago has turned into a dismal mess. Better if the Orioles go into four days off with a win, but even if they do, they’re still going to be four games below .500.

That sounds rather grim, and it is, but the optimists out there may still be comforted in knowing that the Orioles are “only” four games out of the second wild card spot. There is not a lot of strength outside of a couple of the AL division leaders. True, the Orioles have five teams to pass in addition to making up the four game deficit, but that’s out of their hands now. They just have to start winning games.

Is a game where Ubaldo Jimenez is the starting pitcher very likely to be the game where things go well? I won’t be holding my breath.

The O’s will go up against Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson, who enters the game with a 5.82 ERA. That does sound like the sort of pitcher who will maddeningly shut down the O’s offense, doesn’t it? Maybe it does, but the last time they saw Gibson was on May 22 when he gave up six runs in five innings. By the way, the Orioles lost that game, 14-7. Jimenez also started that game and also gave up six runs.

Today's Lineups

BALTIMORE ORIOLES MINNESOTA TWINS
Seth Smith - RF Brian Dozier - 2B
Manny Machado - 3B Robbie Grossman - DH
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Max Kepler - RF
Adam Jones - CF Miguel Sano - 3B
Mark Trumbo - DH Jason Castro - C
Trey Mancini - 1B Kennys Vargas - 1B
Hyun Soo Kim - LF Eddie Rosario - LF
Caleb Joseph - C Jorge Polanco - SS
Ruben Tejada - SS Zack Granite - CF
Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP Kyle Gibson - RHP