With temperatures expected to climb into the triple digits this weekend -- with a heat index of between 110 and 115 degrees -- the Twins are taking caution to stay cool, including holding batting practice indoors.
"Hit in the cage over there, won't have to worry about getting loose," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's just so stinkin' hot out there that, you know what, when you've been playing as much baseball as we've been playing, you try every once and a while to take these days and stay out of the heat as much as we can."
Indeed, the Twins have played every day since the All-Star break -- including a 3-2 loss on Friday night against the Orioles -- and won't have a day off until Thursday. After falling behind the Tigers and White Sox in the American League Central, the Twins will look to Baker to come out of a personal slump in the third game of a four-game set against Baltimore.
The right-hander is 1-4 in his past five starts, allowing 23 runs and 43 hits in that span. But he's 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his career against the Orioles.
Meanwhile, Baltimore welcomed second baseman Brian Roberts back to the lineup on Friday after a stint on the disabled list (back and abdomen) that kept him out of action since the home opener on April 9.
Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel is hoping the leadoff man -- who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game back -- will help add a spark to Baltimore's offense.
"We will definitely welcome Brian back," Samuel said before Friday's game. "We know how much he means to our club in the leadoff spot."
Orioles: Matusz looking to bounce back
Brian Matusz (3-10, 5.21 ERA), will take the hill Saturday. He's coming off his worst start of the season, a 10-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday in which he allowed six runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. Matusz is 0-1 in two career starts against the Twins, posting a 9.35 ERA with five strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.
Twins: Baker used to the heat
Baker, a native of Shreveport, La., said he's used to the heat and humidity he'll likely be pitching in on Saturday. "You have to be, obviously, well hydrated," he said. "It's really tough to get acclimated to the conditions if you haven't experienced them. I grew up in this type of stuff in Louisiana. This is pretty common down there around this time. But if you haven't been in it enough to deal with it, you just have to be prepared. Make sure you're well hydrated, make sure you've got plenty of good food in you."
Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton, who was in the starting lineup Friday, intends to appeal a three-game suspension handed down from Major League Baseball which came as a result of an altercation he had with first-base umpire Jim Darling on Thursday. Samuel and Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz also were ejected and all three will be fined.
Sat, 7/24 7:05 PM ET
Twin dominance from Young, Baker
Delmon Young went 4-or-4 with three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth, and Scott Baker remained unbeaten in his career against the O's with a solid seven-inning, eight-strikeout performance.
|Casilla, A, 2B||4||0||1||1||1||1||6||.273|
|Young, D, LF||4||1||4||3||0||0||0||.325|
2B: Valencia (4, Berken), Repko (1, Berken).
HR: Young, D (12, 5th inning off Matusz, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Span 2; Casilla, A; Cuddyer; Young, D 7; Valencia 4; Hardy 2; Repko 2.
RBI: Young, D 3 (73), Casilla, A (3), Valencia (5), Repko (1), Span (41).
2-out RBI: Casilla, A; Valencia; Repko; Span.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Kubel; Span; Casilla, A 3.
SF: Young, D.
Team RISP: 5-for-14.
Team LOB: 12.
SB: Hardy (1, 2nd base off Albers/Tatum), Casilla, A (1, 2nd base off Matusz/Tatum), Span (18, 3rd base off Matusz/Tatum).
Outfield assists: Young, D (Tejada, M at 2nd base).
DP: 2 (Young, D-Casilla, A, Baker, S-Hardy-Cuddyer).
2B: Pie (5, Baker, S).
HR: Scott (16, 4th inning off Baker, S, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Roberts, B; Tejada, M; Scott 5; Wigginton; Pie 2.
RBI: Scott 2 (38).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Roberts, B; Pie.
Team RISP: 0-for-5.
Team LOB: 5.
E: Roberts, B (1, fielding).
DP: (Roberts, B-Izturis, C-Wigginton).
|Baker, S(W, 8-9)||7.0||4||2||2||1||8||1||5.00|
Pitches-strikes: Baker, S 89-61, Guerrier 8-6, Rauch 29-19, Matusz 96-62, Albers 21-12, Gonzalez, M 11-6, Berken 38-31.
Groundouts-flyouts: Baker, S 6-3, Guerrier 2-1, Rauch 1-1, Matusz 4-6, Albers 1-0, Gonzalez, M 1-0, Berken 6-0.
Batters faced: Baker, S 25, Guerrier 4, Rauch 5, Matusz 25, Albers 4, Gonzalez, M 4, Berken 13.
Inherited runners-scored: Gonzalez, M 1-0, Berken 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Bruce Dreckman. 1B: Paul Emmel. 2B: Bill Hohn. 3B: Gary Darling.
Weather: 99 degrees, clear.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to RF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media