The Baltimore Orioles are not ready to give up on the season quite yet. The Orioles had been dropping slowly from contention over the last month and appeared to be going into a free fall during the first two games at the Minnesota Twins. But with the rest of the American League East scuffling along and the second wild card still very much in play, Baltimore might be in position to add pieces over the next two weeks.
The Twins are one of a few confirmed sellers, with Francisco Liriano dangling as the biggest prize they have to offer. The Orioles could use a pitcher of Liriano’s caliber with all the hits their starting rotation has taken of late. Tommy Hunter provided an unexpected boost in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory but general manager Dan Duquette will still look for one starter before the July 31 deadline. Minnesota has been reluctant to offer slugger Josh Willingham, who hit his 23rd home run on Wednesday, to the market.
Orioles Twins Betting
When: 1:10 PM ET, Thursday, July 19, 2012
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), FSNO (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wei-Yin Chen (7-5, 3.80 ERA) vs. Twins RH Cole De Vries (2-2, 4.37)
The one rotation mainstay for Baltimore since opening day, Chen has not been able to find a win since June 17. The Taiwan native allowed just one run on two hits over six innings against Detroit last weekend but settled for a no decision. Chen has traded off good and bad outings lately, allowing two runs or less in three of the last five while surrendering a total of 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings during the other two.
De Vries is one of several pitchers getting a chance in the Minnesota rotation this season but may run out of opportunities if he can’t bounce back from a disaster last week. The 27-year old rookie was pounded for seven runs on six hits – three home runs – over five innings in a loss to the Oakland Athletics. De Vries had allowed a total of one earned run in his previous two home starts.
1. Baltimore is also in the market for a middle infielder and a leadoff hitter, with Robert Andino (shoulder) and Brian Roberts (hip) on the DL.
2. Willingham has proven to be one of the few players capable of putting up big home run numbers in Target Field, with 15 of his 23 blasts coming in Minnesota.
3. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire left Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning due to illness.