Hentgen looks to win his fourth straight start as the Orioles resume a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards.
Heading into this season, Hentgen had gone just 2-7 in two injury-plagued campaigns for Baltimore. He underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery in August 2001, but finally seems to be fully recovered from the injury.
The veteran right-hander has been in a groove, winning three straight starts while posting a 2.21 ERA over that span.
Hentgen, 34, held the Boston Red Sox to four hits in eight scoreless innings as Baltimore came away with a 2-1 win on Friday.
“I think that’s the best we’ve seen him in a couple of years since he had that surgery,” Boston manager Grady Little said of Hentgen. “He’s certainly real close to getting back to where he was earlier in his career.”
Hentgen has manhandled Minnesota over his 12-year career. The 1996 AL Cy Young award winner is 13-4 with a 2.60 ERA and seven complete games against the Twins.
Jason Johnson and four relievers combined on a six-hitter as the Orioles defeated the Twins 3-2 on Tuesday, avenging a 3-2 setback in Monday’s series opener.
Minnesota will send right-hander Kyle Lohse to the mound against Hentgen.
Lohse snapped an eight start winless streak with a 10-4 win over Detroit on Friday. He was 0-5 with a 10.95 ERA over his previous eight outings.
“It feels really good to finally get on the right side,” Lohse said after his first victory since June 11.
STANDINGS: Twins - 3rd place, 4 1/2 GB, AL Central. Orioles - 4th place, 15 GB, AL East.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Lohse (7-9, 5.15 ERA). The 24-year-old righty allowed three runs and six hits in six innings against Detroit on Friday.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Hentgen (4-5, 4.60 ERA). Hentgen is 3-3 with a 5.11 ERA at home this year.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Twins - Jacque Jones, .309 avg.; Torii Hunter, 18 HRs and 67 RBIs; Shannon Stewart, 62 runs; Cristian Guzman, 13 SBs. Orioles - Melvin Mora, .325 avg.; Tony Batista, 19 HRs; Jeff Conine, 76 RBIs and 67 runs; Brian Roberts, 17 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Twins, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Twins - 3B Corey Koskie is 6-for-12 with a home run in his career against Hentgen. … OF Stewart has hits in 15 of 18 games since coming to Minnesota in a trade from Toronto. He also has 12 multihit games with the Twins. … OF Hunter is hitless in his last seven at-bats against Baltimore. Orioles - OF Jay Gibbons is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak. He’s batting .469 (15-for-32) with five doubles, three homers and seven RBIs during the streak. … OF Mora was placed on the disabled list Tuesday due to a strained ligament in his right hand. Mora is fourth in the AL with a .325 batting average. … The Orioles have won 13 of 16 at Camden Yards.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Twins - 24-29 on the road; Orioles - 30-26 at home.
INJURIES: Twins - OF Lew Ford (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Fetters (hamstring), 60-day DL; LHP Eric Milton (elbow), 60-day DL. Orioles - OF Mora (hand), 15-day DL; 1B David Segui (wrist), 15-day DL; OF B.J. Surhoff (quadriceps), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Omar Daal (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (knee), 60-day DL; 2B Jerry Hairston Jr. (foot), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL.