Scott Diamond has been solid since coming off the disabled list last month.
The Minnesota Twins left-hander, though, continues to struggle at home.
Diamond will try to win a career high-tying third consecutive start - and his first in Minneapolis in nine outings - in Sunday's rubber game against the Baltimore Orioles .
Since coming off the DL on April 13 following offseason elbow surgery, Diamond (3-2, 3.03 ERA) has allowed just 10 earned runs and three walks while striking out 15 in five outings. The southpaw threw a season-high seven innings of shutout ball in Tuesday's 6-1 win at Boston.
"Everything is getting back in sync," Diamond, 12-7 with a 3.54 ERA as a rookie a year ago, told the Twins' official website. "This is what you always work toward. It feels good to have it happen. But it's still a long season, so we have to continue to build."
The Twins (17-16), looking to build off Saturday's 8-5 win, hope Diamond can deliver after going 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA in his first two home starts this season. He is 0-6 with a 5.15 ERA in his last eight starts at Target Field.
Diamond will face an Orioles teams that's won or split its last three series in Minneapolis.
Baltimore (22-15) has 30 hits in this series, led by third baseman Manny Machado , who has three in each game. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones are also feasting on Twins pitching. Markakis, 12 for 22 in five games against Minnesota this season, is batting .513 (20 for 39) during his nine-game hitting streak in this matchup.
Jones' streak versus Minnesota reached 12 on Saturday with a double, and he's batting .478 (11 for 23) against the Twins this season.
Jones and Markakis both have two hits in three at-bats off Diamond.
While the Orioles are batting .330 against the Twins in 2013, they've only defeated them twice in large part due to their starters posting a 10.03 ERA.
Sunday's scheduled starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-3, 3.40) will pitch against Minnesota for the second time in his career after throwing seven innings of three-run ball in a 4-3 victory in Minneapolis on July 19.
The Orioles have won three of the left-hander's last four starts after he went 6 1-3 innings in Tuesday's 4-3 victory over Kansas City. Chen's outing was cut short due to a rain delay, and he had to settle for a no-decision after leaving with a 3-1 lead.
"I just want to keep helping the team, do my job, keep my team in the ballgame," he told the Orioles' official website through an interpreter. "And keep winning the ballgame."
Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have been doing their part to help Minnesota win four of five. Mauer, 6 for 9 with three runs and three RBIs this series, is riding a 10-game hitting streak, while Morneau has hit safely in seven straight games. He matched season highs with three hits and three RBIs on Saturday.
The Twins' last home series win over Baltimore came in 2009.
|May 04, 2013||Miguel Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Right thumb blister|
|May 03, 2013||Chris Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee soreness|
|April 28, 2013||Taylor Teagarden||15-Day DL||Dislocated left thumb|
|April 07, 2013||Nolan Reimold||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring tightness|
|April 05, 2013||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Ruptured tendon, right knee|
|April 04, 2013||Brian Roberts||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring injury|
|April 16, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Back contusion|
|April 16, 2013||Darin Mastroianni||15-Day DL||Stress reaction in left ankle|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 24, 2013||Tim Wood||15-Day DL||Right rotator cuff strain|
|March 22, 2013||Scott Diamond||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Wei-Yin Chen was on his way to pitching another strong game Sunday, then he felt some pain.
His Baltimore teammates made sure the abbreviated effort did not go to waste.
Chris Davis , Adam Jones and Steve Pearce homered and the Orioles defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-0.
Chen pitched five strong innings before leaving with a right oblique strain, and the Orioles won for the sixth time in eight games.
"In the fifth inning after the last batter, after two strikes, I just had a weird feeling and I just tried to be strong and finish out the inning," Chen said through a translator.
Chen (3-3) was breezing through the Twins lineup, allowing no runs and five hits while striking out three in five innings. He has allowed no more than three runs in seven of his eight starts this year.
Manager Buck Showalter indicated the left-hander would be re-evaluated Monday.
"It could be a cramp, it could be something else. We'll take a look and see where we're at," he said. "I'm going to think good things."
Tommy Hunter , Darren O'Day, Brian Matusz and Pedro Strop combined for four innings of three-hit relief for Baltimore.
"We've been swinging the bats well the last few days, and it feels good to win a game by a pretty good margin," Davis said. "It takes a little bit of pressure off the bullpen and really lets us enjoy the win."
Looking for his fifth straight quality start, Scott Diamond (3-3) struggled all day. In 5 2-3 innings, he allowed nine hits and tied a career high by giving up six earned runs. He walked three after allowing that many free passes in his previous five starts combined.
"I definitely left a lot of balls up in the zone today and paid for it," he said. "I was struggling to get a grip on the ball a little bit and it seemed like I was pushing a lot of pitches rather than trying to stay on top of them. I tried to make an adjustment as the game went on and really just continued to struggle."
Nick Markakis and Manny Machado began the game with singles. After Jones grounded into a double play, Davis unloaded a 442-foot shot to straightaway center field. His 11th homer made it 2-0.
Chris Snyder had an RBI single in the second, but ended the inning when he was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on a double by Markakis.
Markakis went 2 for 4 and is hitting .519 (27 for 52) against Minnesota since the start of last season. It is the highest average by any major league hitter with at least 40 plate appearances against any opponent in that span.
Markakis also had an outfield assist in the second, throwing out Justin Morneau , who tried to stretch a single into right into a double.
Jones lined a solo home run to left in the third, with the ball ricocheting off a railing just over the wall and up into the second deck.
"Right away (catcher Matt) Wieters wanted to know if he gets credit for where it landed, up top or down below," Showalter said.
Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but could only push across one run - on Davis' groundout - to make it 5-0.
Pearce hit a solo homer in the sixth.
"Scotty was basically up, couldn't get the ball down. They jumped him early in the count and never let him get into any kind of pattern, and every time he got one up they seemed to make him pay for it," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Four times in the first five innings, Minnesota's leadoff man singled, but the Twins failed to score. Brian Dozier was caught stealing, Morneau was thrown out by Markakis, Joe Mauer was stranded at first and Trevor Plouffe stuck at second.
"It's just one of those games. It happens. Through a 162-game season, you're going to have one of those games where you don't get runners on board and you don't score them," Plouffe said.
NOTES: Minnesota was shut out for the second time this season. ... Baltimore recalled LHP Mike Belfiore from Triple-A Norfolk as a corresponding roster move for optioning RHP Steve Johnson to the Tides after Saturday night's game. ... The Twins have allowed 37 first-inning runs, more than double any other inning total. ... Twins SS Pedro Florimon missed his third straight game with a tight right hamstring. ... Minnesota's Pedro Hernandez (1-0) is scheduled to face Chicago's Hector Santiago (1-1) when the Twins and White Sox start a three-game series Monday in Minnesota. ... Baltimore's Chris Tillman (3-1) is scheduled to get the ball Tuesday when the Orioles welcome San Diego to Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner (2-2) is the Padres' scheduled starter.