"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.
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.