Just over a week ago, the
wrapped up a 14-game stretch away from home. While their upcoming road trip won't be nearly as lengthy, it could still play
an important role in affecting the team's postseason chances.
The Twins kick off a 10-game swing - their last one of the regular season - on Friday, when they open a three-game set with
Minnesota (80-66) went 5-9 from Aug. 21-Sept. 4 - the franchise's longest road trip since it played stretches of 15 and 16
straight away games in 1969 - to accommodate the Republican National Convention, which was held in the Twin Cities at the
start of the month.
Throughout the swing, the Twins bounced between first and second in the AL Central because Chicago experienced similar struggles
in that same stretch.
Heading into this 10-game trip, they are one game back of the division-leading
"It might feel like a piece of cake compared to the last one," said Friday's starter
, whose team is 31-40 as a visitor. "I think this one will be a lot better. Regardless of how many games we play on the road,
we've got to play better."
But Minnesota capped a 3-3 homestand with a 3-2, 10-inning loss to Kansas City on Thursday, going 2-for-13 with runners in
"We didn't score enough runs today. That's the bottom line,'' said catcher
. "Our pitching was great."
was dominant through eight innings, and four relievers combined to allow three hits in two innings of work. However, they
also surrendered the winning run, and it was the eighth time in 12 defeats that the bullpen was charged with the loss.
The relief staff was also unable to hold the lead in Baker's start on Saturday. The right-hander, who is 1-1 with a 4.18 ERA
in his last eight starts, exited with a lead after conceding three runs and four hits in 7 1-3 innings of a the Twins' eventual
6-4 home defeat to Detroit.
Baker (8-4, 3.66 ERA) is 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA in three all-time games versus the Orioles (65-80), but didn't receive a decision
against them on June 5 as he gave up two runs and five hits in five innings of a 3-2 home loss on June 5.
- 0-for-3 lifetime versus Baker - drove in two runs on Thursday to help the Orioles beat Cleveland 6-3.
The Orioles improved to 2-4 on their rain-shortened, nine-game homestand, and won for just the fifth time in their last 22
"It's probably as good a game as we've played in a while," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Trembley's club received a significant boost from Mora, who returned after being sidelined since Aug. 29 with a strained left
hamstring. The third baseman picked up where he left off, and has hit .422 (27-for-64) with six homers and 20 RBIs over his
last 16 contests.
Mora aims to continue his recent hot hitting in support of struggling
(8-9, 5.26), who is 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in his last four starts.
The right-hander had his shortest outing of the year on Saturday, when he walked six and allowed two runs and five hits in
three innings of a 5-1 home loss to Oakland.
Though Cabrera is 5-3 with a 3.92 ERA in nine career starts versus the Twins, he's lost his last two against them. He allowed
six runs and eight hits in six innings of a 7-5 road defeat on June 4.