Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Baltimore
When: 1:35 PM ET, Monday, September 1, 2014
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland

The Baltimore Orioles seek to complete a four-game sweep of Minnesota when they host the Twins in Monday’s series finale. Baltimore has outscored Minnesota 24-11 while winning the first three games and has won six of seven overall to extend its American League East lead to nine games over the New York Yankees. The Twins have lost seven of their last eight games and are 1-5 during a road trip that concludes on Monday.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy hit his fourth career grand slam in Sunday’s 12-8 victory, joining first baseman Chris Davis as Baltimore players to hit grand slams during the series. The teams combined for 33 hits on Sunday – with five players having three or more hits: catcher Caleb Joseph (four), right fielder Nick Markakis (three) and left fielder David Lough (three) for the Orioles; second baseman Brian Dozier and right fielder Chris Parmelee had three apiece for the Twins. Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe homered and had three RBIs, and is 5-for-11 with two homers in the series.

TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), MASN (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Phil Hughes (14-9, 3.70 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Kevin Gausman (7-6, 3.84)

Hughes took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning in his last outing against Kansas City, but ended up taking the loss and was charged with four runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings. The defeat halted a four-start winning streak, a stretch in which Hughes allowed only four runs in 27 1/3 innings. Hughes is 7-5 with a 5.06 ERA in 21 career appearances (18 starts) against Baltimore, including a victory on May 4 when he gave up two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Gausman was briefly sent down to the Florida Gulf Coast League to give the Orioles some roster flexibility and is now back up. He has lost three of his last four starts and has gone five innings or less in three of them. Gausman is 4-4 with a 4.40 ERA in eight home starts this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Joseph is 8-for-20 with three RBIs over his last five games.

2. Minnesota LF Jordan Schafer had two hits on Sunday as his hitting streak reached 11 games, while Dozier extended his hitting streak to 10 contests.

3. Markakis is 16-for-50 with two homers and seven RBIs against Hughes, and Baltimore CF Adam Jones is only 8-for-44 despite also recording two homers and seven RBIs.

PREDICTION: Orioles 6, Twins 5





Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 59-77 L3 29-37 30-40 13-18 28-30 11-19 7-10
Baltimore 79-56 W4 40-27 39-29 33-20 16-16 21-12 9-8
Last Meeting
Minnesota Baltimore
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/31/14 MIN 8 BAL 12 .375 2 1.044 .462 3 1.364
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota B. Dozier .435 10 1.127
Baltimore A. De Aza .340 18 .892
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota T. Plouffe 2 2 7
Baltimore A. De Aza 3 10 6
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 5.29 .264 39
Baltimore 3.63 .278 60
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota K. Suzuki .293 113 .739
Baltimore A. Jones .286 157 .793
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota B. Dozier 20 97 61
Baltimore N. Cruz 35 74 89
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.56 .251 853
Baltimore 3.59 .258 963