MINNEAPOLIS - The Orioles finish up their three-game series against the Minnesota Twins this afternoon and head back home. If you blinked, you may have missed this road trip.
Their starters in the last two games have each lasted four innings. They're looking for left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to give them some length today and spare the bullpen, though they're adding another reliever as insurance.
Chen lasted only four innings in a May 1 start in Seattle, but he went 6 1/3 against the Royals in his most recent outing, allowing only two runs and not walking a batter.
Manager Buck Showalter would probably sign up in blood for a similar outing today.
Chen has made one start against the Twins, and it came at Target Field. He allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings in a July 19 victory.
In his five road starts this season, Chen is 1-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 30 innings. In three career road starts against the American League Central, he's 3-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 17 1/3 innings.
Showalter will break out his right-handed lineup against Twins southpaw Scott Diamond, who allowed five runs and nine hits over six innings in his only career start against the Orioles. Steve Pearce will make his first start since May 4. Alexi Casilla will replace Ryan Flaherty at second base. And Chris Snyder figures to start behind the plate in a day game following a night game, with Matt Wieters getting a breather.
Nolan Reimold will probably start in left field, if Showalter sticks to his usual plan.
Manny Machado will remain at third base, of course. He's registered back-to-back three-hit games. He has 16 multi-hit games this season, and 11 in his last 18 games, with eight doubles, a triple, three home runs and 13 RBIs.
Machado has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 road games, batting .440 (22-for-50) with three home runs, nine RBIs and 13 runs scored.
Machado has at least one hit in six of his last seven games, 17 of 19 and 19 of 23.
He's pretty good. And he's still only 20 years old.