Orioles on deck: What to watch Friday at Braves, plus lineups, broadcast info and more

Josh Land
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles (21-52) vs. Braves (43-30)

Where: SunTrust Park. Atlanta

First pitch: 7:35 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN2/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Alex Cobb (2-9, 7.14 ERA) vs. Braves LHP Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70 ERA)

What to watch

1. Surprise of the season. The Orioles open a weekend series against former teammate Nick Markakis and the upstart Atlanta Braves, one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. The Braves have won six of eight to open a three-game lead over the Nationals in the National League East with the midway point fast approaching. They’ve done it with the NL’s highest-scoring offense and the eighth-best pitching staff in baseball. Markakis has been one of the catalysts with a .323 average that ranks seventh in the majors and an .866 OPS.

2. Cobb. Alex Cobb has sunk back into a homer-driven slump his past two starts, allowing 14 runs and four homers in 10 2/3 innings. Before that, he had only twice allowed two homers in a game over his first 10 starts.

3. Davis returns. Chris Davis is back in the starting lineup for the first time since June 11 after hitting the bench to deal with his struggles. Davis is batting .150/.227/.227 this season and is hitting seventh against lefty Sean Newcomb, one of the Braves’ best pitchers. Newcomb has pitched nine quality starts in 14 outings.

Orioles lineup

LF Craig Gentry

CF Adam Jones

SS Manny Machado

RF Mark Trumbo

3B Danny Valencia

2B Jonathan Schoop

1B Chris Davis

C Caleb Joseph

P Alex Cobb

Braves lineup

CF Ender Inciarte

2B Ozzie Albies

1B Freddie Freeman

RF Nick Markakis

C Tyler Flowers

LF Charlie Culberson

SS Dansby Swanson

3B Johan Camargo

P Sean Newcomb

jland@baltsun.com

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