Minnesota (53-43) at Baltimore (43-52)

Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 6:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 24, 2004
  • TV: FSNO, WB54
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Minnesota Twins look to extend their five-game winning streak and hold on to first place in the American League Central as they resume a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

The Twins beat the Orioles 7-3 on Friday, remaining a half-game ahead of the second-place White Sox in the Central. Chicago beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Friday.

Corey Koskie homered and had a season-high four RBIs, Jacque Jones added a blast and Torii Hunter had three hits for Minnesota, which swept two-game series from the Tigers and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays earlier in the week. The Twins have outscored their opponents 34-15 during the winning streak.

“Somebody different is doing something every night. That’s how you win,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s how you win your division, that’s how you stay in a pennant race. It’s not just one guy carrying you.”

Sidney Ponson will look to slow down the Twins on Saturday. The right-hander snapped one of the worst slumps of his career Monday, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings of a 7-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

The victory was his first since May 16 and halted a career-worst nine-start losing streak for Ponson, who won 17 games last season for the Orioles and San Francisco Giants.

“I’m still 4-12,” he said. “If the season ended today, all you guys (the media) would say I had a bad season. But I’ve got 14 or 15 more starts. I’ll take it start by start and hopefully I can put something together.”

Javy Lopez went 2-for-4 with a double, and Brian Roberts had three hits for the Orioles, who have lost two straight since a four-game winning streak.

The Orioles placed center fielder Luis Matos on the 15-day disabled list Friday and called up pitcher John Maine, who made his major league debut Friday night, from Triple-A Ottawa. Maine gave up four runs, seven hits and three walks in 3 2-3 innings.

Matos slammed into the wall in Boston on Wednesday, bruising the same shin that kept him out of part of spring training with a stress fracture.

“As a baseball player, you want to be helping your team by being on the field,” said Matos, who is hitting .224 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 89 games. “But they need a spot, and I’m banged up right now, so they put me on the DL.”

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Starting Pitchers

T. Mulholland Ari vs. S. Ponson KC
5-9 Record 11-15
5.18 ERA 5.30
60 K 115
33 BB 69
1.59 WHIP 1.55