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Orioles on deck: What to watch Wednesday vs. Rangers

Orioles on deck: What to watch Wednesday vs. Rangers
Baltimore Orioles' Steve Pearce before the game between the Orioles and the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Aug. 2, 2016. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Orioles (60-45) vs. Texas Rangers (62-45)

Where: Camden Yards

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First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN2/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman (2-8, 4.18 ERA) vs. Rangers LHP Cole Hamels (12-2, 2.84 ERA)

What to watch

1. Back in black (and orange): After being acquired by the Orioles for the fourth time in his career, Steve Pearce makes his first start back with the club. The Orioles traded catcher Jonah Heim for Pearce at the nonwaiver trade deadline, and have inserted the lefty-mashing slugger in the lineup tonight against southpaw Cole Hamels. Pearce is hitting .377/.476/.736 against lefties this season. Hamels ranks second in the American League with a 2.84 ERA. Will Pearce help the Orioles get the best of him?

2. Gausman's turn: Dylan Bundy made an impressive seven-inning start Tuesday, and now it's Kevin Gausman's turn. To make it two straight strong starts, Gausman will have to improve upon one of his worst starts of the season -- he was torched for six runs in three innings Friday in Toronto. Will he bounce back?

3. Streaking again? The Orioles offense has begun to heat up with at least five runs in three of four games after a stretch of just three such performances in the previous 16 games. That has helped the Orioles win two straight since losing five in a row. Can the offense help the Orioles make it three consecutive victories and a series win over the American League-leading Rangers?

Orioles lineup

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

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