American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 8th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (0-2) at Baltimore Orioles (2-0), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Anthony Swarzak (0-0, 0.00) Baltimore - Jason Hammel (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Coming off a pair of solid victories, the Baltimore Orioles try to cap a three-game, season-opening sweep of the Minnesota Twins this afternoon.
Not only that, but with a loss the Twins will be off to their first 0-3 start in 31 years. The last time Minnesota dropped its first three contests was in 1981 when the Twins began 0-4 and finished in last place in the AL West that year, which was shortened in games due to a mid-season work stoppage.
Baltimore's Jason Hammel will try to follow in the footsteps of successful starts from Jake Arrieta in the opener and Tommy Hunter on Saturday.
Hammel compiled a 7-13 record with a 4.76 ERA in 32 games (27 starts) last season for Colorado. The right-hander, who turns 30 this September, was traded in February to the Orioles in the deal that sent Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies. Hammel is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in three games (2 starts) vs. Minnesota.
The Twins were set to start rookie right-hander Liam Hendriks, but he was sent to the hospital yesterday with food poisoning. Righty Anthony Swarzak starts in his place.
Swarzak had 11 starts among his 38 appearances last season and went 4-7 with a 4.32 erA. He has one career relief outing against the Orioles.
On Saturday, Hunter went seven-plus strong innings in an 8-2 final. Hunter gave up two unearned runs on six hits while striking out three and issuing one walk for the Orioles, who have won their first two games of the season for the second consecutive year. Luis Ayala closed it down in the ninth inning for the O's.
"If we continue to go deep in the game with our starting pitching, we'll have some fun this year," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's two out of 162, but it's a good way to start. We had good starts to start the season last year, so we'll see if it continues."
Nick Markakis finished 3-for-4 with a solo homer, Matt Wieters and Adam Jones also had solo shots, while Robert Andino added a two-run single and Nolan Reimold had an RBI base hit.
Francisco Liriano was tagged with the loss, giving up six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits while fanning four and walking two in just four innings. Jamey Carroll and Joe Mauer both knocked in a run for the Twins.
"You get a little amped up early when things don't go your way," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have to keep our head up and keep battling. We've got some talent in that clubhouse, A couple things go our way and we'll get on a roll."
The Orioles won the season series 6-2 against the Twins in 2011.
04/08 10:26:56 ET