The Minnesota Twins come to Baltimore for a weekend series having done something similar to the rebuilding Orioles in the early days of the 2019 season: They are off to a better start than many expected.
Both teams hope to keep playing well when the three-game series begins Friday night.
Although the Twins dropped three out of four to Toronto this week, including a 7-4 defeat Thursday afternoon, they are 9-7 overall.
Eddie Rosario hit two homers in the finale against the Blue Jays. He has now banged six already this season, a quick turnaround from his 0-for-14 start to the season.
Rosario has all six homers and 14 RBIs in his past 10 games.
“Eddie always seems locked in,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said Thursday, according to the Twins’ website. “Regardless of what’s going on, Eddie, he’s not afraid of any situation or facing a lefty or a righty or a big moment. Nothing that he really does is surprising.”
The game also will mark Minnesota second baseman Jonathan Schoop’s return to Baltimore. Schoop had been the Orioles’ regular second baseman since 2014 before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers when Baltimore began unloading high-priced players last summer.
He struggled with the Brewers, hitting just .202 in 46 games, and wasn’t tendered a deal, making him a free agent. The Twins then signed him to a one-year contract, and he is batting .235 so far.
Schoop had been stuck in an 0-for-15 skid before coming up with two hits in the Thursday loss.
Jose Berrios (2-1, 2.30 ERA) will start for the Twins on Friday against Alex Cobb (0-0, 3.18) in a showdown of right-handers.
Berrios is 3-0 with a 3.08 ERA in four career starts versus Baltimore. Cobb is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four all-time starts against the Twins.
Cobb is coming back from his second trip to the injured list this season. He missed Opening Day — after being penciled in as the starter — due to a groin problem.
He came back to make one start, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees on April 4, before returning to the IL due to a lumbar strain.
The Orioles will have to make a move Friday to open up a roster spot for Cobb.
Berrios is pitching well so far this year, having made quality starts in all four of his outings. He has struck out 28 while walking only five in 27 1/3 innings.
Baltimore is coming off of a big 6-5, extra-inning road victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. Joey Rickard’s 11th-inning double knocked in Chris Davis, who started the game-winning rally with a two-out single.
Davis missed nearly all of the Tampa Bay series with a stomach bug, and he didn’t even get into the finale until late as a defensive replacement. He is 5-for-13 with a homer and six RBIs since breaking his 0-for-54 skid last weekend in Boston.
Rickard went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and two RBIs on Thursday, and Trey Mancini finished 3-for-5.
“So you hand it to our guys,” manager Brandon Hyde told MASN’s website after the win. “Just thought we stayed in it and … the dugout was great, the guys were supporting each other and (had a) never-give-up attitude, and it was fantastic.”
Copyright © 2019
TTWN Media Networks LLC