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Friday night Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 7:10 PM

The Orioles carry an eight-game losing streak into Boston against a Red Sox team that’s in freefall. Something has to give.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are playing absolutely terrible baseball right now. But the Red Sox aren’t looking too hot, either. Get ready for a clash of the...what’s the opposite of titans?

The O’s just got swept in back-to-back series to complete an 0-6 homestand, and carry an eight-game losing streak overall. Meanwhile, the Red Sox — who just over two weeks ago had the best record in the American League — have gone 3-11 since July 29, falling five games behind the Rays for the AL East lead and now clinging to the second wild card spot. As Tyler Young noted in the series preview, the Orioles have a chance to play spoiler this weekend, in a lower-stakes reminiscence of the epic finish to the 2011 season.

This moribund O’s club doesn’t seem to have any of the magic that the 2011 club did down the stretch. (Where have you gone, Robert Andino? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.) They’ve instead got a lineup that’s missing two of its best hitters, Ryan Mountcastle and Ramon Urias, and a patchwork pitching staff that’s been absolutely blistered during the losing streak.

On the plus side, the bullpen is getting a little healthier, with Tyler Wells and Tanner Scott both returning from the injured list in recent days, and tonight’s starter, Spenser Watkins, has been solid if unspectacular in his brief big league career, entering this game with a 4.22 ERA in seven games (six starts). Fenway Park is no easy place to pitch for a rookie hurler, so good luck to him.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
LF Anthony Santander
1B Trey Mancini
DH DJ Stewart
RF Austin Hays
C Pedro Severino
3B Maikel Franco
2B Jorge Mateo
SS Richie Martin

RHP Spenser Watkins

Red Sox lineup:

2B Enrique Hernandez
LF Alex Verdugo
SS Xander Bogaerts
3B Rafael Devers
RF Hunter Renfroe
DH Kyle Schwarber
C Kevin Plawecki
CF Jarren Duran
1B Bobby Dalbec

RHP Nick Pivetta