Baltimore (49-77) at Minnesota (55-73)

Fair Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Wed Aug 24, 2011
  • TV: MASN2, FSNO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Although the Baltimore Orioles are in position to win their first series in two months, the team is more concerned with the health of one of its stars.

The Orioles are likely to be without Adam Jones(notes), who has been hospitalized, when they face the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night at Target Field.

Jones has been one of the few bright spots for a Baltimore team that owns the worst record in the AL. He has played in 124 of 126 games, batting .296 with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs.

Manager Buck Showalter said the team wasn’t certain what was bothering Jones after he left Tuesday’s 8-1 victory over the Twins in the second inning. Jones started in center field as usual and struck out in his first at-bat before being leaving with what was called an illness. He was later transported to a hospital for further tests.

“They’re still looking into it, haven’t really been able to nail down,” Showalter said. “We just want to rule a lot of things out to be on the safe side. We’re going to let them do some more tests at the hospital.”

Jones’ availability seems unlikely Wednesday as the Orioles go for their first three-game winning streak since reeling off four in a row June 6-10.

Baltimore (49-77) has outscored the Twins 12-2 to win the first two of this four-game set. Mark Reynolds(notes) is 5 for 9 in the two games after going 6 for 45 (.133) over his previous 12 contests.

One more win at Target Field would give the Orioles their first series victory since June 24-26 against Cincinnati.

It has been significantly longer since Baltimore won three consecutive games in a trip to Minnesota, which last occurred with a three-game sweep at the Metrodome from Sept. 7-9, 1999.

Although history isn’t on the Orioles’ side, they could have some luck against Kevin Slowey(notes) (0-1, 6.20 ERA), who hopes his second start of the season goes better than his first.

After opening the season in the bullpen and spending two stints on the disabled list, Slowey returned to the majors Friday as a starter. The New York Yankees welcomed the right-hander back with a beating, tagging him for six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings in an 8-1 loss Friday.

“You’ve got to make good pitches,” he said. “I didn’t make enough good pitches. I left the ball up. Even the outs early in the game were pretty loud outs, line drives at guys.”

This will be Slowey’s first start against the Orioles since July 25, 2010, when he limited them to one run and five hits in six innings of a 10-4 win.

Baltimore counters with Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (5-16, 4.55), who had his start pushed back four days because of shoulder stiffness.

Guthrie hasn’t pitched since falling apart late against Detroit on Aug 13. The right-hander had allowed only two hits and held a 5-1 lead with two outs in the sixth, but was unable to record another out. He ended up yielding six runs and eight hits in a 6-5 loss, his major league-leading 16th.

Guthrie, who led the majors with 17 losses in 2009, pitched well in his lone start of the season against the Twins (55-73) on April 21, yielding two runs in seven innings, but was saddled with a 3-1 loss.

He’ll be facing a Minnesota offense that had four hits Tuesday and has combined for two runs in losing three straight.

Jason Kubel(notes) is hitless in eight at-bats during the skid, and 2 for 12 against Guthrie since 2009.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Guthrie KC vs. K. Slowey Mia
9-17 Record 0-8
4.33 ERA 6.67
130 K 34
66 BB 5
1.34 WHIP 1.40

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Aug 24