Orioles double down today in Boston (Guilmet 26th man for nightcap)

BOSTON - Let's play two - without the rain.

The Orioles and Red Sox have a doubleheader scheduled today following yesterday's postponement caused by Tropical Storm Arthur, which apparently did not get caught between the moon and New York City.

I know it's crazy, but it's true.

The postponement was the right call. Rain began to fall around 1 p.m. and didn't stop. If there was a window, it had streams of water running down it.

Today's forecast is 79 degrees and sunny. Much better.

The Orioles took over sole possession of first place in the American League East without recording a single out. The Blue Jays lost to the Athletics in 12 innings.

As a reminder, Red Sox Game 1 starter Jon Lester is 15-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 26 career starts against the Orioles and held them to two runs over seven innings on opening day, walking one and striking out eight. However, he went 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA in four starts in 2013 and 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three starts in 2012.

Nelson Cruz is 11-for-24 (.458) lifetime against Lester, with two doubles, a triple and three home runs. Adam Jones is 18-for-56 (.321) with three doubles.

Chris Davis is 3-for-27 (.111) with two doubles and a home run. Delmon Young is 7-for-37 (.189) and Nick Markakis is 16-for-69 (.232) with six doubles.

Miguel Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA in five games (three starts) against the Red Sox. He's 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in three appearances at Fenway Park.

The Orioles will have a 24-man roster in Game 1 and a 26-man roster in Game 2, which is a first for me. Manny Machado's suspension ends after the opener and he figures to start at third base in the nightcap. A 26th player will be summoned for Game 2 and sent out at the conclusion of it.

Evan Meek could hop on the shuttle again and rejoin the Orioles as the 26th player. He hasn't pitched since Wednesday.

Meek broke camp with the team in late March, was optioned on May 1, recalled on May 15, designated off the 25-man roster on May 16, optioned on May 17, outrighted on May 28, had his contract purchased June 6, was optioned June 8, recalled June 27 and optioned June 30.

The rule about an optioned player remaining in the minors for at least 10 days doesn't apply to a 26th man.

One more reliever will be eliminated before Sunday's game to create room for starter Kevin Gausman on the 25-man roster. Forget about T.J. McFarland, who's become too valuable in the bullpen. And Brad Brach appears to have cemented a spot by tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings over his last five appearances.

Brach also has morphed into a right-handed long man, which is important when left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is starting. Manager Buck Showalter prefers to use a right-hander behind a southpaw if the starter exits early.

Ramon Ramirez seems to be the most vulnerable reliever despite his eight scoreless innings in five appearances at Norfolk, with no walks and 14 strikeouts. He also threw a scoreless inning for the Orioles on Monday, striking out two.

Ramirez is out of options and would have to pass through waivers and be outrighted to stay in the organization.

What is Showalter going to do about a six-man rotation? Can't wait to ask him about it.

Is this an especially important start for Gonzalez, who's allowed 10 runs and 25 hits in 14 2/3 innings in his last three outings since coming off the disabled list?

Down on the farm, Dylan Bundy gave up three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings last night for Single-A Frederick. He walked two, struck out three and hit a batter.

Earlier this week, Showalter talked about the significant jump from the New York-Penn League to the Carolina League. I'm sure he'll have a report on Bundy today when he meets with reporters.

Update: Preston Guilmet has arrived in Boston and will be the Orioles' 26th player for the nightcap. He'll return to Norfolk after the game.

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