For starters, it’s Arrieta against Pavano

It was 20 years ago today that Rick Sutcliffe was the first pitcher to take the mound in a regular season game here at Camden Yards. He pitched the Orioles to a win with a five-hit shutout that today. If Jake Arrieta could come up with a performance even close to that this afternoon, the Orioles could start the 20th anniversary season at the Yard in fine fashion.

Arrieta went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA last season. Arrieta is:

* 7-6 with an ERA of 4.78 in 20 career Camden Yards starts.
* 1-1 with an ERA of 4.50 in two career starts against Minnesota.
* An effective pitcher against AL Central teams. At least he was last season, going 5-0 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts.
* 16-14 with an ERA of 4.88 in 40 career starts.

Arrieta started the Orioles home opener last season and pitched the Birds to a win over Detroit, giving up just one run on six hits over six innings. In his only start last year vs. Minnesota, he pitched six shutout innings on April 19 against the Twins.

Right-hander Carl Pavano starts today for the Twins after going 9-13 with a 4.30 ERA last season. Pavano led all MLB pitchers with 262 hits allowed last season but his 40 walks issued was the fifth fewest total by a pitcher with 175 or more innings.

The Orioles hope he fares the same today as he did as Minnesota’s opening day starter last year. Then, he took the loss vs. Toronto, giving up eight runs over four innings.

Pavano pitched 222 innings in 2011, his most since 2004 and he became the first Twin since Johan Santana (2006-07) to post back-to-back 200-inning seasons. He recorded his 1,000th career strikeout last year in the fifth inning on June 26 at Milwaukee against Prince Fielder.

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