Found April 08, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
Baltimore Orioles starter Jason Hammel has a pair of tough acts to follow.
Hammel is next in line Sunday for an Orioles rotation that has been spectacular as Baltimore tries for a season-opening three-game home sweep of the Minnesota Twins, seeking to avoid their first 0-3 start in 31 years.
Baltimore (2-0), which opened 4-0 a year ago, has won six straight over Minnesota (0-2) by a combined score of 36-8. Jake Arrieta got the Orioles off to a strong start with seven scoreless innings in a 4-2 win Friday, before Tommy Hunter allowed two unearned runs over seven-plus innings Saturday en route to an 8-2 victory.
"You see us getting deeper in the game with our starting pitching, we'll have some fun this year," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's two out of 162, but it's a good way to start."
This is the first time the Orioles have had back-to-back starts of seven or more innings to open a season since 2001, when Pat Hentgen and Sidney Ponson did it. Jason Johnson also accomplished the feat in the third game.
Hammel will make his Orioles debut after being acquired Feb. 6 in the trade that sent Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado. This is his second stint in the AL after going 7-15 with a 5.90 ERA with Tampa Bay from 2006-08, his first three years in the majors.
The most experienced starter in Baltimore's young rotation, Hammel went 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA for the Rockies last year. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career stars against the Twins.
Minnesota's Jamey Carroll - 0 for 7 with a walk in this series - could be happy to see Hammel since he's 6 for 12 against him. Josh Willingham is 4 for 10 versus Hammel.
The Orioles have been led offensively by Nick Markakis, who has gone 5 for 7 with four RBIs while homering in each of the first two games.
Markakis' RBI total matches that of the Twins. Minnesota, which began 0-4 in 1981, is 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
"These first two games are not indicative of how well we played in the spring," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Once you start the season it's different, and we have to kick it into gear."
The Twins have scratched rookie Liam Hendriks from Sunday's start due to food poisoning, so Anthony Swarzak will get the nod instead. Swarzak went 4-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 27 appearances last season, including 11 starts.
"I was preparing to be a starter for weeks in spring training, and was put in a situation where if they need a spot start, I'd be ready to go," Swarzak told the Twins' official website. "It's unfortunate for Liam to be in the situation he's in. I hope he gets better as soon as possible, because he's a pretty good pitcher, and in the big picture we need as many good pitchers on the staff as we can get."
The right-hander has never started against the Orioles, although he gave up five runs over 3 1-3 innings of relief and suffered a 6-1 loss Aug. 25 in his lone appearance against them.
The Twins haven't been swept in a three-game set at Camden Yards since Aug. 6-8, 2002.
BEST OF MAXIM
Camden Yards just became the premier destination for all baseball (and food) fans. They're now offering "bacon on a stick."
Nick Johnson was a favorite of ours during his star-crossed years with the Nats, and after a few years of kicking around with the Marlins, Yankees and AAA Columbus(!), he’s back in the DMV, this time with Baltimore. And, as he did four years ago, he’s growing some delicious lip fur.
Johnson and his mustache made their O’s debut Saturday, and he ended up starting two of three...
A Baltimore Orioles fan was caught flipping the bird with both hands to no one in particular (but presumably towards the visiting Minnesota Twins) after catcher Matt Wieters hit a home run in Saturday night's game in Camden Yards.
(Disclaimer: Holdout Sports does not condone this type of behavior.)
It happened in the bottom of the seventh inning as Wieters' home...
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Tommy Hunter took a four-hitter into the eighth inning, Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 with a homer and the Baltimore Orioles cruised past the Minnesota Twins 8-2 Saturday night.
Adam Jones and Matt Wieters also homered for the Orioles, who will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday. Baltimore has won six straight over Minnesota by a combined score of 36-8...
Tommy Hunter took a four-hitter into the eighth inning, Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 with a homer and the Baltimore Orioles cruised past the Minnesota Twins 8-2 Saturday night.
Adam Jones and Matt Wieters also homered for the Orioles, who will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday. Baltimore has won six straight over Minnesota by a combined score of 36-8.
After beating the...
For the second time in as many years the Orioles have won their opening series after taking game two from the visiting Minnesota Twins tonight at Camden Yards.
The 8-2 drubbing of the Twins featured three solo shots from the heart of the Orioles lineup. Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters all connected for solo shots. Robert Andino had a huge two-out two-RBI double in the...
The Orioles swept the Twins and emotions are running high. They swept the Twins by way of three fantastic starting pitching performances: 22IP/ 3R/ 1ER/ 10H/ 12K/ 6BB. For a team that many national writers expect to lose 100 games and have one of the worst pitching staffs in recent baseball history - that is a very good start. Yet, the refrain I am hearing from too many people is...
If you would have told me that the Baltimore Orioles would sweep the Minnesota Twins in their opening series and their starting pitchers would throw 22 innings and only allow 1 run, I would have told you to put down the case of Natty Boh. Starting pitching is the biggest concern for the Orioles this year as they had seemingly downgraded the position after trading away Jeremy Guthrie...
Tonight, the Baltimore Orioles play their second game of the season as they face the Minnesota Twins at 7:05 p.m.
This is the second contest in a three-game set. Right-hander Tommy Hunter squares off against southpaw Francisco Liriano on the mound.
Hunter, who came into this season slimmer and more fit is looking to establish himself as the number two starter. Much like with...
Tonight at Camden Yards, the Evil Empire – aka, the New York Yankees – come into town for a three game series.
Well, the Yankees are winless on the season and after being outplayed by the Tampa Bay Rays, they’ll be hoping for a reprieve in Baltimore.
However, the Orioles have been playing very well – having earned a series sweep over Minnesota.
In an earlier post James...
The Orioles picked up their usual Opening Day win yesterday, and are tied for first place in the AL East. Going wire-to-wire is probably going to require a second victory today, so they'll need to make that happen to keep the dream alive.The Twins (2011 stats):
The O’s sweep the hapless Twins to start the 2012 season. [Camden Chat]
Jason Hammel had a no-hitter into the 8th in O’s debut. [Steve Melewski]
A man dressed as Batman got onto the field at the home opener. [Bog]
This isn’t where I was expecting to find excellent O’s writing. [Deadspin]
Nats miss out on sweeping Chicago despite ZNN’s strong outing. [WaPo]