Twins send Baker to hill in Baltimore

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, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

Struggling to keep pace with the White Sox and Tigers in the AL Central, the Twins will try to solve their road woes when Minnesota battles the Baltimore Orioles in the third installment of a four-game set this evening at Camden Yards.

If the Twins are going to keep up in the AL Central race they will need the likes of Scott Baker to turn his season around. The right-hander has lost four of his last five matchups, falling to a meager 7-9 on the year.

Over his last two outings, Baker has been pounded for 11 runs in just 10 2/3 innings. The most recent setback came against Cleveland, as the Indians tallied six runs on 10 hits.

What has really hurt the veteran hurler has been his performance on the road, where the Oklahoma State product has posted a miserable 1-6 ledger with a 6.66 ERA in nine starts outside of Minnesota.

However, in his career Baker has pitched extremely well against Baltimore, going 4-0 in six outings against the AL East foe, while racking up an impressive 2.52 ERA. Earlier this season, Baker tossed eight outstanding innings against the Orioles, surrendering just one run on three hits, while striking out eight batters.

The Orioles, who currently own the worst record in baseball at 30-65 will send rookie Brian Matusz to the hill. Matsuz has suffered through some rookies woes after a fast start and enters this contest with just one victory in his last 10 starts.

The last time the San Diego University product was on the rubber he did not make it out of the second inning against Toronto, as the Blue Jays punished the young hurler for six runs on five hits and two walks.

It was the 10th loss on the year for Matusz, who has gone winless in nine starts at Camden Yards this season. At home thus far, the Colorado native is 0-6 with a meager 5.57 earned run average.

Earlier this season the southpaw was greeted rudely by the Twins, as Minnesota clobbered the young hurler for six runs on nine hits, chasing him from the contest in the fourth inning.

On Friday, Jeremy Guthrie picked up his first victory in nearly two months thanks to a two-run homer by Luke Scott in the sixth inning, as Baltimore edged Minnesota, 3-2.

Guthrie (4-10), winless in nine starts since beating Oakland on May 25, yielded two runs on six hits in seven effective innings to pick up the win, the Orioles' second in eight games since the All-Star break.

Anthony Slama (0-1) gave up the go-ahead home run to take the loss behind Brian Duensing, who went five innings in his first start of the year and allowed just one run on four hits while walking none.

Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run for the Twins, who had won two straight and five of seven coming in.

The season series is currently tied at three games apiece, but the Twins have dropped four of their last five matchups at Camden Yards.


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