O’s game blog: Andrew Cashner pitches Twins series opener

After losses by 3-2 and 4-1 in Philadelphia, the Orioles road trip continues tonight as they start a four-game series in Minnesota. O’s pitching allowed just seven runs and eight hits in Philly, but O’s batters produced just three runs and went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position in that series.

The Twins (35-48) are third in the American League Central, 12 games behind. Minnesota just concluded a 1-8 road trip and has lost six in a row. The Twins are 2-11 their past 13 games. They are 20-20 at home and 9-18 in series-opening games. The Orioles are 9-19 in series openers.

The Twins are 2-1 against the Orioles this year and that was in the opening series of the year in Baltimore. The Twins went 5-2 versus the Orioles in 2017. Minnesota has won eight of its last 11 and 16 of its last 24 against Baltimore.

Minnesota’s Max Kepler has hit safely in nine of 10 career games against the Orioles, hitting .395 (15-for-38) with five doubles, one triple, three home runs, 12 RBIs and 1.293 OPS. Joe Mauer is a career .342 (96-for-281) hitter against the Orioles, with seven homers, 43 RBIs and a .408 on-base percentage in 74 games. He he has multiple hits in five of his last nine versus the Orioles.

The Orioles Manny Machado sits at 962 career hits, 38 away from 1,000. He is looking to become the youngest Oriole to record 1,000 hits in their Baltimore career with his 26th birthday tomorrow. Cal Ripken, Jr. holds the current mark, reaching 1,000 career hits at 26 years and 296 days old. Machado is also looking to become the fastest Oriole to 1,000 hits in terms of games played. He has played in 848 career games as an Oriole and the current record holder is Nick Markakis, who reached the 1,000 hit mark in his 875th career game. Machado is 10-for-26 (.385) over his last seven games.

The Orioles (24-61) have lost nine of 10 and 20 of 25 games. They are 8-12 against teams from the AL Central and 12-32 on the road.

Right-hander Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.48 ERA) will make his 17th start. He has thrown well recently with four quality starts over his past five games and an ERA of 3.21 in that span. Cashner, who is 0-3 over his last six starts, gave up one run in six innings in his last start against Seattle.

andrew cashner gray getty.jpgAfter allowing 11 homers over his first nine games as an Oriole, Cashner has yielded just three over his past seven games. His two wins this year came April 5 against the Yankees and May 21 versus the White Sox.cashne

Right-hander Aaron Slegers (0-0, 3.38 ERA) will make the start for the Twins, coming up from Triple-A. It is his second game of this year and his fourth career start. He pitched in relief May 30 against Kansas City. Coming on in the second, he went 5 1/3 allowing six hits and two runs.

A fifth-round pick in 2013, Slegers has gone 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA this year at Triple-A Rochester. Over 83 2/3 he gave up 82 hits, 12 homers, walked 19, fanned 55 and allowed a .260 batting average against. He got off to good start, going 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA through his first eight starts.

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