Tuesday night preview: Orioles at Minnesota

Game Preview
Orioles (51-74) at Minnesota (62-63)

The Orioles are hopeful that their on again, off again offense will be more on again tonight at 8:05 p.m. when they play at Minnesota in game two of this series and game eight of a road trip.

Brian Matusz will pitch tonight for the O's (2-2, 6.75) vs. Twins right hander Armando Gabino who will be making his Major League debut after spending the year at Triple-A.

The O's were held to just one run on four hits, going 4 for 30 at bat in Monday's 2-1 loss to Minnesota.

It's the second time in three games and third time in the last six games the Orioles were held to a single run. In the other three games they scored 8, 5 and 5 runs.

The O's have been held to three runs or less in 18 of 37 games since the All-Star break and are 1-17 in those 18 contests.

The Orioles pitching, meanwhile, has gotten better in recent days. During the seven games of this road trip, the Orioles bullpen ERA is 0.90 (2ER over 20IP).

Over the last six games, the O's team ERA is 3.00 and O's starters have worked to an ERA of 3.27 over the last four contests.

The Orioles have won three of the last five games, but over a longer stretch they have lost seven of 10 and 24 of the past 34.

The Birds are 7-16 in August and 11-26 in the second half.

Minnesota, which can reach the .500 mark with a win tonight, is 4 1/2 games back of division leader Detroit in the AL Central.

Tonight is the second game of a nine-game homestand for Minnesota, which is 34-27 at home this year.

The Twins have been a hot-hitting team this month, batting .300 and scoring 5.9 runs per game in August.

The O's lead the season series, two wins to one over the Twins this year.

O's hitters recently:
Andino: Is 3 for 12 over his last four games
Aubrey: Is 4 for 9 since joining the O's
Izturis: Is just 3 for 22 over six games
Jones: Batting .149 over his last 13 games, 41 multi-hit games this year
Markakis: Since All-Star break is hitting .344-7-28
Moeller: Is 3 for 14 at bat
Mora: Is 1 for 21 over his last six games
Pie: His last 11 games is 10 for 28
Reimold: In second half is batting .297-3-15
Roberts: Has 10 doubles his last 13 games, 20 over 36 games and an AL-leading 48 on the year
Scott: Batting .171 (18 for 105) his last 28 games
Wieters: Hitting .291 his last 29 games
Wigginton: Is 4 for 16 with one RBI this road trip

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