Skidding O's make a stop in Twin Cities

The Baltimore Orioles try to put the brakes on a five-game game series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

The Orioles continued to lose series over the weekend, as they were swept in a three-game set by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, falling 7-1 on Sunday at Angel Stadium.

Matt Wieters hit a solo homer for Baltimore, while Brian Matusz (1-6) got blasted to the tune of six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits over four innings.

Baltimore hasn't won a series since taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds from June 24-26 and hasn't won one from an AL team since sweeping the Oakland Athletics from June 6-8.

"It's definitely tough," Nick Markakis said of an Orioles club that needs to go 16-22 to avoid 100 losses, a mark not reached since 1954. "We're losing. It [stinks]. It is what it is. It's not like we're not trying. We're going out there every day and playing. It's just things aren't going our way."

Hoping to get them back on track tonight will be rookie left-hander Zach Britton, who returns after a stint on the disabled list because of a shoulder strain. However, he is just 0-3 over his last three starts with a 24.16 ERA.

"I'm more ready to get on the mound and finish strong this season," Britton said. "A lot of it has to do with how we are going to go into next season as a starting staff. So it's about time to kind of stake your claim on the staff. It's [no longer], 'Hey, you are just going to be handed starts.' No, you've got to earn your opportunities, so I'm ready to kind of earn my spot back."

Britton, who beat Minnesota earlier in the year, has lost his last five decisions and hasn't won since June 8. He is 6-9 on the year with a 4.66 ERA.

The Orioles may be a welcome sight for a Twins team that dropped three of four over the weekend to the New York Yankees. On Sunday, Minnesota was shut down by Ivan Nova in a 3-0 setback.

Joe Mauer had three hits for the Twins, losers in six of their last nine games.

"The main thing is tomorrow come out, try to swing the bats well and play the best we can," said Minnesota designated hitter Jim Thome.

Getting the call for the Twins tonight will be veteran right-hander Carl Pavano, who is 6-9 with a 4.52 ERA. Pavano did not get a decision on Wednesday in Detroit, as he gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 6-5 win.

Pavano lost to the O's back on April 19 and is 5-4 lifetime against them with a 3.58 ERA in 10 starts.

The Twins have split their four games with the Orioles this season.