Fox News - Fair & Balanced


American League Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, July 17th (All times eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (46-43) at Minnesota Twins (47-52), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Zach Britton (0-0, 0.00) Minnesota - Samuel Deduno (0-0, 5.06)

(Sports Network) - Zach Britton makes his season debut this evening when the Baltimore Orioles continue a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Britton was 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 28 starts last season for the O's before being shut down in August with a strain in his left shoulder. He still felt soreness in Spring Training and started the year on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement.

The 24-year-old hurler was activated on June 6, but has been pitching for Triple-A Norfolk and threw seven scoreless innings during his last start on Thursday. He was 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last five starts in the minors.

"I feel a lot more confident going into this year, because I know I've prepared the right way and my delivery's where it needs to be," Britton said. "There's a lot of confidence from that aspect coming into the start."

Baltimore could use a big start from Britton tonight, after the Orioles were forced to use six relievers in 7 1/3 frames, as starter Chris Tillman lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Monday's 19-7 loss.

Denard Span did the most damage with the bat for the Twins, going 3-for-5 with five RBI, while Ben Revere had four hits and three RBI with a run scored. Joe Mauer smoked a solo home run to account for one of his two RBI and Ryan Doumit brought home a pair for the Twins, who scored seven runs in the first inning and snapped a five-game slide.

Justin Morneau added four hits and an RBI in the victory. He's also riding a 14-game hitting streak.

"We definitely needed a win like that," Span said. "We didn't play too well against Oakland and I think we were due for a huge win like that. It was just an all-around good game for us. We were definitely due for that."

Scott Diamond (8-3) allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts over six innings to earn the win. Anthony Swarzak and Matt Capps closed out the blow-out win for the Twins.

Tillman (1-1) was rocked for seven runs -- one earned -- on five hits and two walks in just two-thirds of an inning to take the loss.

Mark Reynolds smoked a three-run home run and Endy Chavez added a two-run shot for the O's, who have dropped five of their last six games.

Tonight, the Twins turn to Samuel Deduno, who will be making his second start of the season. He did not get a decision his first time out on July 7 in Texas, as he allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 4-3 loss.

Baltimore swept a three-game set from the Twins earlier in the year and has beaten them in seven of the last eight games they have played.

07/17 17:15:51 ET