Orioles have won six of last seven series heading into Minnesota finale (Davis HR note)

So far this year, the Orioles have been more consistent than streaky. Their longest winning streak is four games. Their longest losing streak is three games, which came in the fifth, sixth and seventh games of the year.

The Orioles have lost back-to-back games just twice this year. A loss today would be the third time for that.

On their way to a 22-15 record, they have won eight of 11 series, including two in a row and six of their last seven.

They need a win today to add to that, and the Orioles are 3-3 this year when the series is tied 1-1 heading into that third game.

One formula they have used this season to win series is win the opening game of a series. The eight times they did that before this Minnesota series, they went on to win seven of the eight series.

They'd love to get this one today to remain, at worst, one game out of first place as they finally head home and get to settle in for an eight-game homestand that includes off days tomorrow and Thursday, a chance to play at home for a while finally and get a little rest.

The Twins have been a pain in the neck to a few good teams this season. They have a 6-3 record against the Orioles and Boston and a record of 11-8 vs. Baltimore, Boston, Detroit and Texas.

The Orioles would love to see Wei-Yin Chen pitch a big game today. O's pitching has allowed 20 runs the last three games, and O's starters have given up 16 earned in 14 innings in those games.

That has raised the Baltimore starting pitching ERA from 4.42 to 4.81 for the year, which ranks 10th in the AL.

It will be hard to finish 10th in starter ERA at the end of the year and be a playoff team, you would think. The starting pitching has to get better, Captain Obvious might say.

Today, they'll see if it will be and if it leads to the Orioles winning yet another series.

Minor moves: The Single-A Frederick Keys today added infielder Christian Walker up from Single-A Delmarva and activated Nicky Delmonico off the disabled. Frederick sends Connor Narron and Anthony Caronia to Delmarva.

Walker, who was the Orioles' minor league Player of the Month for April, was batting .353 with three homers and 20 RBIs for the Shorebirds. That is the best batting average in the O's minors and ranks fifth best in the South Atlantic League.

Delmonico was batting .325 with two homers, nine RBIs and a 1.091 OPS in 11 games but had been out since April 18 with a concussion. He was recently cleared to return by Major League Baseball.

Davis does it again: Chris Davis hit a booming two-run homer to center in the top of the first today. That was his 11th homer of this year and his 43rd homer over his past 161 games since last April 25. Pretty impressive number for him.

At Bowie today: Pitcher Zach Clark left before the end of the fourth in his first start throwing a knuckleball. His final line today: 3 1/3 innings. 6R, 5ER, 4H, 3K, 6BB, 1HP. Erie leads 6-1. Clark threw 105 pitches, 50 for strikes.

I think fans need to be patient with his conversion to a knuckleball pitcher. I also wonder if having him try to do that so quickly while pitching in the Eastern League is the best move here. We'll see if the organization reconsiders that. Either way, we just need to give this experiment much more time before even beginning to make any judgements.

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