Series Preview: Surging Twins look to extend winning ways vs Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD – The Minnesota Twins, projected by many to finish at the bottom of the American League Central standings, have exceeded expectations so far this season. Currently, the Twins are tied for first place with the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians, holding a record of 22-18.

Minnesota is coming off a 3-3 home-stand against the Rockies and Royals. This included two doubleheaders on Thursday and Sunday, as a result of two rain-outs on Wednesday and Saturday. Now, the Twins will enter Camden Yards to try to continue their winning ways.

The Orioles, who currently hold a 15-4 record at home, are coming off a series win against the Blue Jays, as the Birds took two of three from Toronto (Thank you, Wellington Castillo). Baltimore is now 7-2 against Toronto this season, which has been nice to see because the Blue Jays have given the Orioles fits in recent seasons.

After Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Toronto, the Orioles (25-17) sit a half game behind the Yankees (25-16) in the American League East.

Game Times & Pitching Match-ups:

Game 1: Monday, May 22, 7:05 pm – Kyle Gibson (0-4, 8:20 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 6.52 ERA) – MASN; 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Tuesday, May 23 – 7:05 pm – Ervin Santana (6-2, 2.07 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (5-2, 2.97 ERA) – MASN 2; 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Wednesday, May 24 – 12:35 pm – Jose Berrios (2-0, 0.59 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (1-0, 3.52 ERA) – MASN; 105.7 The Fan

Last Meeting: The Orioles and Twins have not met yet this season. The O’s opened up their 2016 regular season with a three-game series against the Twins, earning the sweep. In Minnesota, the Orioles went 2-1, winning the first two games of the series before dropping the last game (which took place almost two months later due as a make-up game), winning the season series against Minnesota by a 5-1 margin.

Notes on the Twins: 

  • On Sunday, the Twins placed starting pitcher Phil Hughes (4-3, 5.74 ERA) on the 10-day DL with shoulder discomfort.
  • Miguel Sano enters the series as Minnesota’s top hitter. In 135 at-bats, he has a .304 average, with 41 hits, 10 home runs, and 34 RBI.
  • Against the Orioles, Joe Mauer has a career .341 average with 89 hits and seven home runs. At Camden Yards, Mauer is .291/39/3
  • Santana has struggled against the Orioles in his career, with a 4.87 ERA against the Birds. Santana’s ERA at Camden Yards is 6.09.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Jimenez, who starts Monday night, has pitched well against the Twins in his career, going 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 11 appearances. In his last start, a 5-4 loss to Detroit, Jimenez went five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, three walks, and five strikeouts.
  • Against the Twins, Mark Trumbo has a .312 career average with 39 hits, six doubles, and nine home runs.
  • After getting hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game against Toronto, third baseman Manny Machado had X-rays on his left hand. Machado received a day off on Thursday because his hand was sore, but the X-rays are said to be precautionary.

UPDATE: Machado’s X-rays came back clean, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN.

Following this series, the Orioles will head to the mid-west for a short three-game road trip against the Houston Astros, who, as of this writing, have the best record in baseball at 29-15, good for first place in the AL West.

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