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News » Twins-Orioles Preview 2009-05-06

Twins-Orioles Preview 2009-05-06

Twins-Orioles Preview 2009-05-06
Kevin Slowey has benefited from outstanding run support this season. The Minnesota Twins' last starter wasn't so fortunate.

After being shut out for the second time in 2009, the Twins look to continue their success at the plate when Slowey starts as they open a two-game set with the struggling Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.

Slowey (4-0, 5.17 ERA) has yet to lose this year after winning a career-high 12 games last season, but his win total is largely due to strong production from Minnesota's lineup. He's given up five runs in three of his five starts but has gotten a total of 35 runs to work with.

The right-hander won his third straight start despite allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 7-5 victory over Kansas City on Friday.

Slowey could have used a big game from the Twins' batters in his only start against the Orioles (10-17), giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings as Minnesota lost 5-3 on June 3.

Nick Blackburn, who started for the Twins (13-14) on Tuesday, certainly could have used some help from Minnesota at the plate in a 9-0 loss to Detroit. He gave up a career-high nine runs - six earned - with eight hits and three walks in 3 1-3 innings.

The Twins averaged 6.8 runs in their previous five contests, including a 7-2 win over the Tigers on Monday.

"That's not what you are looking for. You need some consistency," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said after Tuesday's letdown.

The Twins' lineup will try to get back on track against Mark Hendrickson (1-4, 5.79), who has posted a 7.00 ERA en route to losing four straight starts. The left-hander surrendered four runs and nine hits in five innings as the Orioles lost 8-4 to Toronto on Friday.

Hendrickson is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in two starts against Minnesota.

With a 5.60 team ERA, the Orioles are in desperate need of somebody to step up in the rotation. They got a decent outing from starter Koji Uehara on Tuesday, but lost 6-3 to Tampa Bay after winning the series opener 8-4 the previous night.

Baltimore is returning home from a 1-4 trip and has lost seven of eight overall.

Center fielder Adam Jones continues to be a bright spot for the Orioles, going 2-for-4 on Tuesday to raise his average to .350.

Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, meanwhile, hit his fourth homer and second in two days. The two-time All-Star has three hits in his last eight at-bats while scoring four times after entering the series with the Rays in an 0-for-18 slump.

"I think he does a whole lot more than just get hits," Orioles manager Dave Trembley told the team's official Web site. "He sets the tone. He can draw walks, he's not afraid to hit with two strikes (and) he'll draw the counts out. I think in that aspect he does a lot of things unseen if not unappreciated."

Roberts hit .423 (11-for-26) in Baltimore's six games against Minnesota last season, with each team winning three.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 6, 2009

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