Looking ahead

Just to avoid any controversies later in the game, umpire Jim Joyce already has given the Orioles an infield hit tonight. Mark it down in your scorebooks.

Joyce actually will be working the plate tonight with Armando Galarraga on the mound in Detroit. It’ll be another tearful reunion, with more reminders of Joyce’s blown call on June 2 that denied Galarraga a perfect game.

My guess is the Orioles better come out swinging, because Galarraga will have a wide strike zone.

Galarraga is 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA in three career appearances against the Orioles, with 28 hits and six home runs allowed in 20 1/3 innings. They’re batting .329 against him.

He’s been dealing with some stiffness in his right elbow, but is expected to make tonight’s start.

I don’t expect Jake Fox to crack the lineup, but he’s 4-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs lifetime against Galarraga. Nick Markakis is 3-for-10 with a double, home run and three RBIs.

I briefly brought up Brandon Snyder’s name yesterday, wondering if he’ll finally make a start in this series. After all, we’re back to the “soft spot” in the Orioles’ schedule.

Perhaps Ty Wigginton will get a night off this weekend, with Snyder starting at first. Wigginton has no home runs since Aug. 22 and only two since Aug. 2. He’s been the model of consistency in some aspects, however, batting .250 against right-handers and .250 against left-handers this season. He batted .252 before the break, and he’s hitting .247 after it.

Kevin Millwood is making his first start in Detroit since lasting only one inning on July 5 in a 12-9 loss. He gave up five runs and four hits, walked two and headed to the disabled list.

Miguel Cabrera is hitting .344 with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in 32 lifetime at-bats against Millwood. Magglio Ordonez is hitting .375 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs in 24 at-bats.

I received a follow-up e-mail from Lou Montanez early this morning. And by “early,” I mean 3:13 a.m.

It wasn’t meant for publication, but he included how he’s “truly impressed by the makeup of Orioles fans.”

“They truly are one of a kind. Real knowledgeable, too,” he wrote.

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