Orioles vs. Red Sox

Hey folks, it’s Derek filling in on the blog tonight. The Orioles welcome the Red Sox to town tonight for the first game of the three-game series against the AL East leaders. Boston currently holds a four-game lead over Baltimore, while Tampa Bay sits just a half game behind the Red Sox entering Friday’s action.

*Dr. John Wilckens is down in Sarasota evaluating several players, including Wilson Betemit (knee). Manager Buck Showalter relayed reports that Betemit is improving. Showalter said there is still swelling in the area, and he hopes Betemit will soon be over the final hump and that it will resolve itself.

*Steve Pearce (wrist) went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Friday in his first game for the Gulf Coast League Orioles.

*Top position player, Jonathan Schoop, is headed to Triple-A Norfolk and might play tonight, Showalter said. He had been rehabbing from a strained lower back in Aberdeen (Single-A short season).

*Henry Urrutia said he’s not sure how he’ll react to his Camden Yards debut this evening, but he said it’ll be pretty emotional.

*Francisco Rodriguez will also make his Camden Yards debut Friday, and he said he’s “not here to take anybody’s job.” He’s here to bolster a bullpen that has thrown a lot of innings this season, and provide another late-inning option if he continues to pitch well.

And here are Friday’s lineups

Baltimore Orioles
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
JJ Hardy SS
Henry Urrutia DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Chris Tillman P

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Naba LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Iglesias 3B

John Lackey P

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