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Orioles vs Twins lineups and game preview for August 30, 2014

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Chris Tillman faces Kyle Gibson in game two of this four-game series.

The Orioles have struggled against the AL Central this year, but they took it to the last-place Twins yesterday with a 9-1 victory. Steve Pearce is out of the lineup today after exiting early with an abdominal strain yesterday, but the good news is that the MRI he got today showed no tears and he's day-to-day.

The Orioles won 12 games in March/April, 15 games in May, 16 games in June, 17 games in July, and have 17 wins so far in August with two games to play.

Pitching
Chris Tillman Kyle Gibson
GS 28 25
IP 171.2 144
ERA 3.42 4.31
FIP 4.11 3.75
BA/OBP/SLG .231/.294/.365 .255/.311/.362

On June 5th, Chris Tillman gave up five earned runs in just one inning against the Texas Rangers and his ERA, which had been creeping up over the last month, went all the way to 5.20. Tillman hadn't looked like the pitcher we saw at the start of the season, and people were starting to get nervous. Since that day, however, Tillman has looked like a different pitcher. In 15 starts that span nearly three months, Tillman has pitched to a 2.15 ERA. He has averaged just over 6 2/3 innings per start and he has not given up more than three earned runs in any one game. In the month of August, Tillman has given up only five earned runs and has walked only four batters in 35 2/3 innings. I know some of you might be worried that my gushing could serve as a jinx, but Tillman deserves a little gushing. I'll take my chances.

Kyle Gibson is in his second season with the Twins, and he has had his troubles. He's shown himself capable of pitching good games now and then, but more often he doesn't. He's given up five earned runs in three of his five August starts, with the other starts coming against the White Sox (7 IP, 3 R) and the Astros (7.2 IP, 1 R). Gibson doesn't strike out many batters but he does have a 53.7% ground ball rate. That would probably work better for him if his team's defense was better (FanGraphs ranks them 11th in the American League).

Let's go O's!

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