Machado, the challenge of making a trade and tonight's game

Unless there's been a late change, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will undergo surgery this morning in Los Angeles to repair a torn ligament in his right knee.

I wonder whether Dr. Neal ElAttrache can zip his own lip.

I'm going to eliminate the drama and promise that the surgery will be deemed a success. Machado won't lose the leg, so don't lose any sleep over it.

The update also will include mention of how Machado should be ready for spring training, which is why he's having the procedure today.

Manny-Machado-holds-knee.jpgThe Orioles haven't traded for another infielder, though they've held discussions with multiple teams. Players can't be included on the postseason roster if acquired past Aug. 31.

I've heard from a variety of people that the Orioles had a potential deal fall through after news of Machado's pending surgery leaked to the media. Teams tend to want more in return if they sense that the Orioles have become desperate.

I'm not suggesting that the Orioles actually are desperate, but that impression hinders their efforts.

They checked on infielder Gordon Beckham before the White Sox traded him to the Angels for a PTBNL or cash.

Let the Chicago writers field the PTBNL questions.

Kevin Gausman will make his 15th start of the season tonight and his eighth at home, where he's gone 4-3 with a 4.38 ERA. He's 1-2 with a 7.16 ERA in four career games (three starts) against the Rays, with 13 earned runs allowed in 16 1/3 innings.

It's been a mixed bag this season. He tossed six scoreless innings on June 18 at Tropicana Field to earn the win, and he allowed five earned runs in five innings on June 27 at Camden Yards to take the loss.

Ben Zobrist is 5-for-9 with two doubles against Gausman, and Yunel Escobar is 4-for-5. Brandon Guyer is 2-for-2, and both hits are doubles.

The Orioles will face left-hander Drew Smyly, who tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout in his last start in Toronto - the first complete game of his career. He faced one batter over the minimum and retired the final 19 batters.

Smyly also shut out the Rangers over 7 2/3 innings on Aug. 11. In between those two starts, he limited the Yankees to two runs over seven innings. That's a 0.76 ERA in his last three outings.

Nice pickup by the Rays.

Smyly is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four career appearances (one start) against the Orioles, the only run allowed in 14 innings coming on Adam Jones' first-inning homer on May 13 at Camden Yards. He tossed three scoreless relief innings against them on April 4 in Detroit.

The Orioles can't get away from this guy.

When you're Smyly, the whole world doesn't smile with you. Especially the left-handers who are batting .167 against him this season.

Right-handers are batting .284, so you can be certain that Steve Pearce will stay at first base and Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young will stay in the lineup - one in left field and the other at designated hitter.

The three-man bench includes left-handed-hitting David Lough and Ryan Flaherty. Not a good night to start them with Smyly on the mound. This is another easy lineup card for manager Buck Showalter to fill out.

Chris Davis pretty much has to play third base, but he's 0-for-6 with five strikeouts against Smyly.

Pearce is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, but he's riding a career-high nine-game hitting streak. He's 13-for-38 (.342) with nine extra-base hits, five RBIs and nine runs scored during that stretch.

He's also got to lead the majors in prodigious foul balls.

Jones tied B.J. Surhoff last night for seventh place on the franchise list for games played as an Oriole at Camden Yards with 501. Rafael Palmeiro is sixth with 505.

Caleb Joseph's 23 RBIs are second-most in the majors among rookie catchers behind the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud (32). He also ranks second in hits with 41 and first in go-ahead RBIs with seven.

Brad Brach owns a 0.56 ERA with 16 strikeouts over his last 13 appearances covering 16 innings. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 11 outings, which is a career-high.

Did it really take the umpires 1:47 last night to determine the count on Nick Markakis during a crew chief review?

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