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Orioles on deck: What to watch Thursday vs. Tigers, plus series matchups

Orioles (53-54) vs. Tigers (49-57)

Where: Camden Yards

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First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (1-6, 7.65 ERA) vs. Tigers LHP Michael Boyd (5-5, 5.30)

Series matchups

Offense (MLB rank)

Runs per game: Orioles (4.65, 16th); Tigers (4.83, ninth)

Average: Orioles (.259, 12th); Tigers (.260, ninth)

Home runs: Orioles (149, 10th); Tigers (124, 21st)

OPS: Orioles (.746, 16th); Tigers (.760, 11th)

Pitching (MLB rank)

Team ERA: Orioles (4.98, 29th); Tigers (4.85, 27th)

Starters' ERA: Orioles (5.65, 29th); Tigers (4.67, 18th)

Bullpen ERA: Orioles (3.99, 12th); Tigers (5.18, 30th)

Fielding (MLB rank)

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Fielding percentage: Orioles (.985, eighth); Tigers (.985, ninth)

Errors: Orioles (58, 11th fewest); Tigers (56, eighth fewest)

UZR/150: Orioles (-5.1, 26th); Tigers (1.7, 12th)

Defensive runs saved: Orioles (-13, 21st); Tigers (-11, 20th)

What to watch

1. Six pack. The Orioles can match their longest winning streak of the season tonight, entering their series with the Tigers having won five straight. The Orioles' only six-game run this season came from May 4-9, improving them to a major league-best 22-10 at the time. If they match that tonight, they'll be back at .500 for the first time since they were 39-39 on June 29.

2. Rotation turns. The Orioles rotation has a 0.76 ERA over its past five games, allowing three earned runs in 35 2/3 innings since Jeremy Hellickson was acquired. Chris Tillman is the only starter to not contribute to that streak, as he allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings his last time out. Can he take a step forward to extend that stretch of strong pitching tonight?

3. Machado watch. Manny Machado has brought his season numbers back toward respectability with a 22-game stretch in which he's batting .375/.430/.534 with eight doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs. His average is up to .250 for the season after he opened that stretch with a .215 average on July 6. See if he can stay hot against the Tigers.

Orioles lineup

CF Adam Jones

3B Manny Machado

2B Jonathan Schoop

DH Trey Mancini

1B Chris Davis

SS Tim Beckham

RF Joey Rickard

C Welington Castillo

LF Craig Gentry

jland@baltsun.com

twitter.com/JoshLandSun

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