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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: at Rays, 7:10

The objective of baseball is to score more runs than the other team. The Orioles haven’t been able to achieve that in over two weeks. Spenser Watkins heads to the hill to take a crack at it.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The standings are tightening all over baseball, and that includes at the very bottom, where the Orioles currently have the worst winning percentage in the entire league. Don’t celebrate yet, you weirdos. The O’s have also played two fewer games than the second-worst Arizona Diamondbacks, so just a single win tonight, regardless of what Arizona does, will have the two teams swap places.

Personally, I prefer to see my favorite team win games. Even the pro-tanking members of the fan base have to be fed up with the level of losing happening right now. The O’s have dropped 13 contests in-a-row, and while anything can happen, the team is essentially guaranteed a Top 4 pick in next year’s draft at this point. That’s pretty high! It would be nice to get a W here.

On paper, however, it doesn’t look like a great opportunity to make that happen tonight. Spenser Watkins has been struggling for a few starts now, and Trey Mancini is out of the lineup again as he nurses a (hopefully minor) calf injury. While the Rays are a buzzsaw that is starting to pull away with the AL East crown.

One interesting thing: Jorge Mareo starts in left field, which could be fun to watch. He played the outfield 22 times for the Padres this season, so this is nothing new. But it will be his first time playing on the grass since the joining the Orioles.

As manager Brandon Hyde said in his pre-game press conference, “we’re trying to just do the best we can and stay positive.”

Orioles’ Starting Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Ramon Urías, 2B
  3. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
  4. Austin Hays, RF
  5. Pedro Severino, DH
  6. Jorge Mateo, LF
  7. Maikel Franco, 3B
  8. Austin Wynns, C
  9. Richie Martin, SS

RHP Spenser Watkins (2-4, 5.25 ERA)

Rays Starting Lineup

  1. Brandon Lowe, 2B
  2. Wander Franco, SS
  3. Nelson Cruz, DH
  4. Austin Meadows, LF
  5. Randy Arozarena, RG
  6. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  7. Joey Wendle, 3B
  8. Francisco Mejía, C
  9. Kevin Kiermaier, CF

RHP Louis Head (1-0, 1.85 ERA)