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AP - Sports

Nelson Cruz continues to drive in runs, Matt Wieters keeps hitting and the Baltimore Orioles seem to have regained the winning ways that disappeared at the end of last season.

Winners of seven of 10, the AL East leaders go for a fourth straight victory Saturday in Minnesota against the struggling Twins.

In Friday's 3-0 victory, Cruz hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning after Wieters' RBI double in the fourth as both continued impressive stretches while slugger Chris Davis is on the disabled list.

Wieters is batting .419 with two home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs in his last seven games, while Cruz is hitting .347 with six home runs and 18 RBIs in his past 12. Cruz has a team-best eight homers and 27 RBIs, the latter being among the best in baseball.

"Everybody contributed," Cruz told the team's official website of Friday's win. "The bullpen came in and shut it down. We got the hits when we needed to."

The Orioles (15-12) last won four straight when they strung together five straddling the All-Star break from July 14-22 before their second half went south.

They turn to Wei-Yin Chen with hopes of him building on his longest outing of the season.

Chen (3-1, 4.34 ERA) has a winning record in large part because of an 8.69 run-support average. He's allowed nine hits or more in three of five starts and is being hit at a .325 clip.

He has, however, limited the damage often as the Orioles have won his last four starts, including a 3-2 home final against Kansas City last Saturday. Chen surrendered two runs on nine hits in seven innings, the first time he'd gone that deep since Aug. 21.

"My slider was working real well tonight and it makes it a good combination with my fastball," Chen told the team's official website. "Wieters knows what's working so he called a real good game today."

Chen is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts against Minnesota (12-15), which will counter with a pitcher who is heading in the opposite direction.

Kevin Correia (0-3, 7.33) allowed 11 runs in 8 1-3 innings over his last two starts, both losses. Seven of those came on eight hits in 2 1-3 innings of a 10-6 home loss to Detroit on April 25.

"I just wasn't able to hit any of my spots," Correia told the team's official website. "I can't pitch like that against a team like that. You're going to get hit around."

He was hit hard by the Orioles in two career starts, both while with Pittsburgh, yielding a .356 opponents' batting average with a 5.25 ERA.

The Twins have lost four straight, and despite Ricky Nolasco's complete game Friday, their pitching continues to struggle. The starting staff has an AL-worst 5.85 ERA and MLB-worst .305 opponents' average.

The more frustrating part Friday was they didn't have the offense to support a quality effort. The Twins managed four hits and are batting .160 in their last three.

"Ricky pitched well enough to win, for sure," outfielder Sam Fuld said. "Yeah, it's frustrating. Good teams find a way to win when a pitcher throws a game like that."

Fuld played center field for the injured Aaron Hicks, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list Friday with concussion-like symptoms.

Teammate Chris Colabello is in a 2-for-26 slump in his last six games.

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