American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 7th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (0-1) at Baltimore Orioles (1-0), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Francisco Liriano (0-0, 0.00) Baltimore - Tommy Hunter (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Tommy Hunter will try to follow in the footsteps of Jake Arrieta's successful season-opening start when the Orioles resume their series with the Minnesota Twins tonight.
Just before last season's trade deadline, the Rangers dealt Hunter to the Orioles. After that, it was an up-and-down stretch for the right-hander, as he went 3-3 with a 5.06 ERA in 12 games (11 starts for his new club).
Hunter actually started last season in the bullpen until he was traded to Baltimore. Now, the 25-year-old has moved into Buck Showalter's rotation.
On the other side, Francisco Liriano got off to a rocky start in 2011, but the Twins are hoping the veteran left-hander will shake off a tough season and return to form that saw him win 14 games in 2010. Last year, Liriano went 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 26 games (24 starts). The 28-year-old was just 1-4 in the first month of the season and gave up at least four runs in each of the four defeats.
Over his career, Liriano has compiled a 2-1 mark with a 3.38 ERA in four starts vs. Baltimore.
Yesterday, Arrieta tossed seven shutout innings and the Baltimore Orioles celebrated the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards with a 4-2 win.
"He was really good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his starter. "I thought he kept his emotions under control and trusted his fastball, which is still the best pitch in the game."
Jim Johnson got the final two outs in the top of the ninth to earn the save.
Nick Markakis led the offensive charge for the O's, going 2-for-3 with a two- run home run, three RBI, and two runs scored while Matt Wieters knocked in the other run on an RBI groundout.
Carl Pavano was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits over seven full frames. Josh Willingham crushed a two-run homer in the ninth inning for the Twins.
"We gave ourselves a shot," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. " Willie (Willingham) hit that big home run and if we get another big hit, who knows what happens, so that's a good thing, but, a loss is a loss."
The Orioles won the season series 6-2 against the Twins in 2011.
04/07 10:28:47 ET