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Orioles on deck: What to watch Thursday vs. Rays

Orioles (80-65) vs. Rays (62-83)

Where: Camden Yards

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First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-7, 5.44 ERA) vs. Rays LHP Blake Snell (5-8, 3.62 ERA)

What to watch

1. First within reach: The Orioles are back in Baltimore for an 11-game homestand that could define their season. They open a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, before playing a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox beginning Monday and wrapping their home schedule with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Orioles remain one of the best home teams in baseball, at 45-22 there this season. The sheen has worn off a little, as the Orioles have lost nine of their past 15 games at home. But the Orioles enter tonight coming off a 6-3 road trip, trailing the Red Sox by one game for first place in the American League East. They lead the Toronto Blue Jays by one game, and the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners by 2 1/2 games in the wild-card race.

2. Extra rested: Yovani Gallardo makes his first start since Sept. 6. After eight days' rest, Gallardo will be trying for a third straight solid start. He has allowed four earned runs in 11 innings over his past two outings, and has a chance to make a case to get more work than the struggling Wade Miley.

3. Another look: The Orioles continued shuffling their corner outfielders, starting Nolan Reimold in left and Drew Stubbs in right, with Mark Trumbo at designated hitter. Still no Hyun Soo Kim, who hasn't started since Sept. 11. This will be Reimold's first start since he homered Tuesday against the Red Sox. Stubbs is making his fourth start since the Orioles claimed him off waivers on Aug. 31.

Orioles lineup

CF Adam Jones
2B Jonathan Schoop
3B Manny Machado
DH Mark Trumbo
1B Chris Davis
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Drew Stubbs
LF Nolan Reimold

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