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Thursday night Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 7:10

A scheduling oddity gives the O’s a great chance to take control of their playoff destiny while most of the teams around them in the standings have the day off.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

This is a weird one. There is only one other evening game in MLB tonight, and that is the Field of Dreams match-up between the Cubs and Reds in Dyersville, Iowa. Understandably, the league wants that game to get all of the eyeballs. But due to the CBA negotiations delaying the start of the season, this one-gamer got squished into the schedule before the O’s head down to Tampa for a proper series with the Rays this weekend.

On top of that, both the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots begin their preseason schedules tonight. It shouldn’t matter much for the Orioles, who are on the road here and in the midst of a scintillating summer. For the city of Baltimore, it is not football season just yet. But for a Red Sox team mired in a four-game losing streak and a slide down the standings, this could be a sparsely attended game with locals preferring a 45-minute jaunt south of Fenway Park to Gillette Stadium.

These two teams meet up again in a week’s time at Camden Yards. Who knows what the standings could look like by then? For now, a win for the Orioles while the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays, and Twins are idle tonight would put them firmly into a wild card spot.

Sneaky big game!

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Adley Rutschman, C
  3. Anthony Santander, LF
  4. Ryan Mountcatle, 1B
  5. Terrin Vavra, DH
  6. Austin Hays, RF
  7. Rougned Odor, 2B
  8. Ramon Urías, 3B
  9. Jorge Mateo, SS

Dean Kremer, RHP (4-3, 3.43 ERA)

Red Sox Starting Lineup

  1. Tommy Pham, LF
  2. Rafael Devers, 3B
  3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  4. Alex Verdugo, RF
  5. J.D. Martinez, DH
  6. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  7. Christian Arroyo, 2B
  8. Kevin Plawecki, C
  9. Jarren Duran, CF

Josh Winckowski, RHP (5-5, 4.68 ERA)