**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles play the opener of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners**
BALTIMORE — After plenty of speculation that changes were coming to the Orioles’ struggling lineup, the only noticeable different is the return of shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier this afternoon.
He replaces long reliever Josh Rupe who was designated for assignment.
Fresh off a sweep to the Tampa Bay Rays and having lost six of their last seven, the Orioles (14-19) return to action this evening against the Seattle Mariners (16-19) this evening with Jake Arrieta taking the hill against rookie sensation Michael Pineda. The right-hander was named American League Rookie of the Month in April after going 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his first five big league starts before the calendar turned. Pineda has an impressive 39 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings this season.
Arrieta will seek his fifth win of the season and will try to reverse a nightmarish turn through the rotation for Baltimore starters. In the Orioles’ last four games, starting pitchers have allowed 23 earned runs in 18 2/3 innings.
The Orioles hope to get a spark from the returning Hardy, who last played on April 9 before a strained left oblique landed him on the disabled list. In a three-game rehab stint at Triple-A Norfolk, Hardy was 2-for-9 with three walks and two runs scored. Most importantly, he reported no pain and billed himself fit to return.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
RF Ichiro Suzuki
3B Chone Figgins
1B Justin Smoak
C Miguel Olivo
DH Jack Cust
2B Adam Kennedy
LF Carlos Peguero
SS Brendan Ryan
CF Michael Saunders
SP Michael Pineda (4-2, 2.58 ERA)
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Derrek Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
LF Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
SS J.J. Hardy
SP Jake Arrieta (4-1, 4.35 ERA)
As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!