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Twins, Orioles open series at Target Field
(SportsNetwork.com) - The struggling Minnesota Twins pitching staff will have another chance to turn things around on Friday night when the team hosts the Baltimore Orioles to open a three-game weekend series at Target Field.
Minnesota's staff-wide earned run average is 5.09 -- second-worst in the major leagues behind Arizona's 5.20 -- and the starters alone have compiled a 6.04, which is the worst in the big leagues.
Starting the opener with the Orioles is right-hander Ricky Nolasco, whose 6.67 ERA is second-worst among starters who've thrown the requisite number of innings to be included in the league statistics.
His teammate, Kevin Correia, is worst in the majors with a 7.33 ERA and will start Saturday.
In his lone home start of 2014, however, Nolasco allowed a single run on five hits of a 7-1 defeat of Kansas City.
In four road starts, he's given up at least five runs.
He was shelled for six runs in six innings while compiling a no-decision in a 9-7 loss at Tampa Bay on April 24.
The Orioles will start righty Ubaldo Jimenez, whose ERA is third-worst in the majors -- 6.59 -- behind Nolasco and Correia.
He'll make his sixth try at a first 2014 victory.
He gave up four runs in a 5-0 loss to Kansas City in his most recent start one week ago.
Jimenez has won three of his last four starts at Minnesota while compiling a 2.63 ERA and striking out 27 batters.
He struck out 13 -- his career high -- in 6 2/3 innings of a 5-1 win there on Sept. 29, 2013.
On Thursday in Baltimore, Matt Wieters stroked the game-winning home run in the 10th inning to lift the Orioles to a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and sweep a day/night doubleheader at Camden Yards.
Wieters chased a high fastball and managed to keep it just inside the foul pole down the line in right for the win. Wieters finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored and J.J. Hardy went 2-for-3 with two RBI for the Orioles, who won the opener of the twinbill, 5-1.
Nick Markakis had a solo homer and Adam Jones added two hits and an RBI in the win. Tommy Hunter (1-0) earned the win after recording the final two outs of the 10th.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman was touched for three runs on six hits while striking out eight over 4 2/3 innings.
Manny Machado, who missed the first 25 games of the season while recovering from offseason knee surgery, made his debut for Baltimore. He finished 0- for-5.
In Minnesota, Scott Van Slyke homered in the 12th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a doubleheader and three-game sweep of the Twins with a 4-3 win.
Van Slyke led off the 12th by clobbering a 2-1 pitch from Brian Duensing (0-1) over the wall in left-center field. Drew Butera added a two-out blast off Duensing.
The Twins loaded the bases with no outs against the Los Angeles closer on a bloop single by Jason Kubel and two walks. Joe Mauer plated a run with a sacrifice fly, but Minnesota stranded two men in scoring position as Kenley Jansen earned his 11th save. Chris Colabello lined out to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to end the game.
Baltimore and Minnesota split six meetings a year ago.
05/02 10:37:02 ET
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