American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, September 1 (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (59-77) at Baltimore Orioles (79-56), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Phil Hughes (14-9, 3.70) Baltimore - Kevin Gausman (7-6, 3.84)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Phil Hughes tries to join the American League leaders with his 15th win of the season on Monday when the Minnesota Twins try to salvage the finale of their four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Hughes had a four-start winning streak stopped on Wednesday in Kansas City, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings to fall to 14-9 to go along with a 3.70 ERA.
Despite the loss, Hughes pitched to a 2.06 ERA in the month of August. He had surrendered just one run in each of the four starts during his winning streak.
"It's probably the best stuff I've had [during] this little run I've been on. I felt like I was really on," Hughes said. "Which makes it disappointing, to spoil a start where you have pretty good stuff."
Hughes is 7-5 versus the Orioles with a 5.06 ERA in 21 games (18 starts). Although, the 16 home runs he has given up to them is the most he has surrendered to any team.
Baltimore, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Kevin Gausman, who has lost three of his last four starts. Gausman fell to Tampa Bay on Wednesday and allowed three runs (2 earned) and six hits in four innings. He also struck out four without walking a batter, but fell to 5-6 and saw his ERA rise to 3.84.
Baltimore continued to roll on Sunday, as J.J. Hardy's grand slam highlighted a seven-run sixth inning that propelled the Orioles to a 12-8 win.
Ryan Flaherty and Nelson Cruz also homered in the rout, with Cruz belting his MLB-leading 35th of the season. Caleb Joseph went 4-for-5 and Nick Markakis and David Lough had three hits apiece.
Wei-Yin Chen (14-4) was the benefactor of the power surge, earning the win despite allowing four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"He had a good look, a really aggressive, good tempo -- the type of guy you like to have on the mound when it's as hot and sticky as it was today," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Trevor Plouffe and Danny Santana each hit two-run homers for the slumping Twins, who have dropped seven of their last eight games.
"Knowing that these guys won't quit swinging and quit playing is a really good thing," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Unfortunately we're not winning a lot of those games. We have to find a way. We need our starting pitching to get better."
Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (5-10) was lit up for eight runs on 12 hits over five-plus innings.
Minnesota took two of three from the O's earlier in the year.
09/01 10:25:01 ET