**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles go for the series win in the finale of a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins***
BALTIMORE — Needing a victory to secure their third series win of the season, the third-place Orioles (8-9) will send Jeremy Guthrie to the hill in the finale of a four-game set against the Minnesota Twins (6-12).
The Orioles didn’t win their third series last year until June 25-27 when they swept a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.
Right-handed pitcher Scott Baker will try to continue his overwhelming success against the Orioles as he tries to lead the Twins to a series split. Baker is 5-0 with a 2.53 earned run average in seven career starts against Baltimore. Orioles hitters hold a .214 lifetime average off Baker, who continues to give them fits at the plate. The Minnesota lineup will need a big start to as Twins hitters continue their season-long struggle and have yet to score more than five runs in any game this season.
Not to be outdone, Guthrie has enjoyed his own success against the opposition with a 3-0 record and a 2.96 earned run average in four career starts against the Twins. The 32-year-old hopes to rebound from last Saturday’s start in which he surrendered six earned runs in a loss to the Indians.
Injured pitcher Brian Matusz (intercostal strain) returned to Baltimore today and will remain with the Orioles through the duration of the homestand. The lefty is scheduled to throw 120-foot flat-ground sessions on Friday and Sunday as manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Mark Connor evaluate his progress. It has not yet been determined when Matusz will start a minor league rehab assignment.
He can go on assignment for up to 30 days and will need significant work to build arm strength and innings before returning to the Orioles rotation. Matusz only pitched 13 2/3 innings in the spring as he dealt with a wart on his finger and was struck by a line drive toward the end of Grapefruit League play.
In other words, his return to the 25-man roster is far from imminent.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
CF Denard Span
SS Alexi Casilla
RF Jason Kubel
1B Michael Cuddyer
DH Jim Thome
3B Danny Valencia
2B Luke Hughes
C Drew Butera
LF Jason Repko
SP Scott Baker (0-2, 4.50 ERA)
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Derrek Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
LF Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
3B Mark Reynolds
C Matt Wieters
SS Robert Andino
SP Jeremy Guthrie (1-2, 3.32 ERA)
As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!