Minnesota opened the 2023 campaign by taking all three games of a series against the Kansas City Royals, but it hasn’t been able to earn a three-game sweep since then.
Twins right-hander Sonny Gray (4-2, 2.67 ERA) looks to continue the stinginess evidenced by Minnesota starters in the series thus far. Pablo Lopez and Bailey Ober combined to limit the Orioles to one run and five hits over 13 innings in the first two games
The Orioles have lost four straight and 16 of their last 31 and will try to avoid being swept for the first time this season on Sunday
“I think this team’s capable of doing a lot of great things, and we’ve kind of shown that this year already,” Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins said. “Four-game losing streak? I don’t think it worries us too much. Come back, compete the next day.
It might not be so easy for Baltimore to get back on track, though. Gray has the fourth-best ERA in the American League and has allowed no more than three runs in each of his 16 starts this season, though the Twins have only managed an 8-8 record in those contests
Last time out, Gray allowed three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings of a loss to the Atlanta Braves. He struck out five and walked one.
Gray is 6-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 12 career starts versus Baltimore.
Left-hander Cole Irvin (1-3, 7.18) gets the nod for the Orioles. Irvin will be making his seventh start and ninth appearance of the season on Sunday. He is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in his past four appearances
In his last effort, he started and allowed one run on three hits in three innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. He was lifted following a long rain delay.
Irvin allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings and earned a no-decision in his only previous start against the Twins, which came back in 2021
After going 19 games without a home run, Gallo has homered in four of his last seven games.
“I wasn’t that confident, but I’ve got to say I am,” Gallo said. “You’re going to go through patches where you don’t hit home runs, and then you’re going to hit four or five in a stretch.”
Gallo’s home run was enough because Ober scattered two hits over seven innings and didn’t walk a batter, and Jhoan Duran survived a jam in the ninth.
“We talk about guys being sharp and having good outings,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Ober. “He was almost perfect with what he wanted to do (Saturday).
The Orioles got the potential tying run to second base with one out in the ninth against Duran, but they couldn’t bring Jorge Mateo home as Kepler made a diving catch on Anthony Santander’s foul fly ball in the right-field corner and Ryan O’Hearn grounded out
“They have some really nice arms in their bullpen,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of the Twins. “It’s tough when we’re behind those guys. We had a runner there in scoring position in the ninth. … We didn’t have enough offense today and they had a solo homer.
–Field Level Media
Original source here
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