Orioles pregame: With win, Orioles can sweep Rays, end losing season streak

Orioles manager Buck Showalter often says it when his team goes into a day-after-night game.

"Sleep fast."


The Orioles have a quick turnaround this afternoon for a 12:35 game against the Rays. The Orioles can sweep the Rays. Their next win will also be their 81st of the season, which will guarantee at least a .500 record this season and end the Orioles' streak of 14 straight losing seasons.

Catcher Matt Wieters will get a day off today. And Showalter said he'd like to have his Gold Glove All-Star catcher behind the plate for eight of their next nine games on this upcoming road trip to Oakland, Seattle and Boston.


However, Wieters' wife Maria is expecting the couple's first child any day now, Showalter said. So Wieters could leave the team when they're out west if he gets the call that his wife is close to delivery.

Other notable items this afternoon:

-- Showalter said left-hander Zach Britton will start Saturday's game in Oakland. The starter for Sunday's series finale has yet to be announced.

-- Right-hander Chris Tillman (inflamed ulnar nerve) said he hasn't been told when he will make his next start. He's under the belief that it could be Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. The Orioles might wait until they go to Seattle to start Tillman, considering he owns a career 3-0 record and 0.83 ERA in three starts againt the Mariners, the team that traded him away along with Adam Jones in the Erik Bedard trade on 2008.

-- The Orioles improved their record in one-run games to 26-7 with their 3-2 win over the Rays on Wednesday night. Their .788 winning percentage in one-run games is on pace to be the best in MLB history, breaking the 1981 Orioles .750 mark (21-7).

-- By now you've seen the heads-up play Manny Machado made in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game. The Orioles have been a different team defensively since they selected Machado's contract on Aug. 9, making just 13 errors since then for a .989 fielding percentage -- the second best in the AL behind the Royals' .990 fielding percentage. Machado has made just two errors in that span -- and one was on the controversial reversed call in Detroit last month.

Here are this afternoon's starting lineups:

Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Wilson Betemit DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Robert Andino 2B
Taylor Teagarden C
Wei-Yin Chen LHP


Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Ben Zobrist SS
Evan Longoria DH
Ben Francisco RF
Jeff Keppinger 3B
Ryan Roberts 2B
Luke Scott 1B
Chris Gimenez C
Jeremy Hellickson RHP