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Thursday night Orioles game thread: at Rangers, 8:05

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The Orioles have a new leadoff man as they open a four-game series with Texas. Welcome, Jonathan the Second.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Pop quiz: Name the nine hitters, entering tonight, who have batted leadoff for the Orioles this season. I’ll wait.

(twiddling thumbs)

(taking long sip of Coke)

(checking watch)

OK, that’s long enough. You probably came up with Tim Beckham, who’s led off the last 27 games in a row, and Trey Mancini, who has manned that spot more than anyone else this year (51 games). You might also recall the Orioles’ ill-fated Chris Davis leadoff experiment at the beginning of the year, and perhaps you took a stab that speedsters Craig Gentry and Joey Rickard have led off at some point. (They have.)

But did you remember that Colby Rasmus led off three games? Or Jace Peterson six? Or Corban Joseph twice, and even Jonathan Schoop once, for some reason? Those Orioles — they always keep you guessing.

Tonight they’ll employ their 10th leadoff hitter, and he’ll making his Orioles’ debut: Jonathan Villar, the second baseman acquired from the Brewers in the Schoop trade. From one Jonathan to another. Villar, who led the majors in steals in 2016 with 62 but otherwise hasn’t topped 23 in a year, figures to be the Birds’ regular second baseman for the foreseeable future. He’ll probably man the leadoff spot for a while, too, though his .324 career OBP is nothing to write home about. Still, as we’ve seen, the Orioles certainly don’t have a better option on their current roster.

Lineup

  1. Jonathan Villar 2B
  2. Tim Beckham SS
  3. Adam Jones CF
  4. Mark Trumbo DH
  5. Chris Davis 1B
  6. Trey Mancini LF
  7. Renato Nunez 3B
  8. Jace Peterson RF
  9. Caleb Joseph C

Andrew Cashner RHP