Orioles pregame: Andino gets start at third; Thome receives epidural

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Orioles open their three-game series tonight against Tampa Bay here at Tropicana Field.

This weekend's series is important for both teams. The Orioles and Rays are both 55-50 and 1 1/2 games out of the second American League wild card.


Robert Andino will make the start at third, so Wilson Betemit will sit against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. Betemit has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .458 in that span. The switch-hitting Betemit is hitting .146 against left-handed pitching.

Hot-hitting Omar Quintanilla starts at second again, his 13th straight start since after the Orioles acquired him from the Mets for cash.


In other news:

-- Designated hitter Jim Thome received an epidural injection today in California for a herniated disk in his neck.

-- Left hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is out for the season recovering from Tommy John surgery, is here today and will be in uniform watching the game from the dugout. He's been rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla., and he asked manager Buck Showalter if he could join the team here at the Trop. Signed in the offseason out of Japan, Wada still hasn't seen a major league game.

-- The Orioles dealt minor league pitcher Pat Neshek to the A's. There's no word yet on what the Orioles received in return, but it doesn't appear to be much of impact. The sidearm-throwing Neshek was 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA and 11 saves with 49 strikeouts and 7 walks in 44 innings.

-- There's no sign of Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Nate McLouth, who has an opt-out in his contract that can be executed after midnight if he doesn't join the Orioles' 25-man roster. The Orioles could still make a move postgame.

Here are tonight's starting lineups:

Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Lew Ford LF
Omar Quintanilla 2B
Robert Andino 3B
Tommy Hunter RHP

Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Carlos Pena 1B
Jeff Keppinger DH
Ryan Roberts 3B
Jose Lobaton C
Elliot Johnson SS
Matt Moore LHP

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