Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Adam Jones has displayed signs of breaking out of a season-long slump and strives for another solid performance when the Baltimore Orioles conclude an abbreviated two-game series against the host Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon. Jones hit a solo homer and delivered the tiebreaking two-run single in the ninth inning Tuesday as Baltimore recorded a 5-3 victory.
Jones was in a 3-for-24 funk over a six-game stretch before breaking out with just his fourth multi-hit performance of the campaign. Jones has just two homers and 12 RBIs while looking nothing like the player who has hit 25 or more shots in each of the last five seasons. Minnesota has dropped six straight games and 10 of its last 11 as it possesses the worst record in the American League at 8-24. Trevor Plouffe appears fully recovered from an intercostal strain after hitting a homer and driving in all three runs on Tuesday.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Tyler Wilson (1-1, 3.04 ERA) vs. Twins RH Phil Hughes (1-5, 5.85)
Wilson lost to the New York Yankees in his last turn, when he gave up three runs (two earned), four hits and three walks in six innings. He has posted a 4.02 ERA in three starts after allowing just one run over eight frames in three relief appearances to start the season. Wilson gave up two hits in three scoreless innings against Minnesota on April 4.
Hughes was roughed up for six runs and six hits over two innings in his last turn while losing to Houston. Issuing eight walks in six outings normally sounds really good, but in Hughes’ case, it is a partial sign of his struggles as he walked a total of just 16 in each of the last two seasons. Hughes is 8-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 24 career appearances (21 starts) against the Orioles and has experienced difficulties with Manny Machado (10-for-19, two homers) while often keeping Jones (9-for-51, three homers) in check.
1. Machado is batting .432 over his last 11 games after going 3-for-3 with a homer and two walks on Tuesday.
2. Minnesota 1B Joe Mauer went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts on Tuesday while batting leadoff for the first time in a major-league career that began in 2004.
3. Baltimore 1B Chris Davis went 3-for-5 on Tuesday after being 1-for-21 over his previous six contests.
PREDICTION: Twins 7, Orioles 5