Twins-Orioles Preview


Chris Davis had a breakout season for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, but perhaps no one expected this kind of start to 2013.

After homering for a fourth consecutive game, Davis looks to stay hot while helping Baltimore earn a third straight victory Saturday night as it continues this set with the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Davis hit .270 while setting career highs in home runs (33) and RBIs (85) last season while helping Baltimore (3-1) reach the postseason. He's on pace to shatter those numbers in 2013.

The first baseman joined San Francisco's Willie Mays (1971), St. Louis' Mark McGwire (1998) and Texas' Nelson Cruz (2011) as the only players to homer in four games to start a season when he hit a tie-breaking, opposite-field grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning of the Orioles' 9-5 win over Minnesota in Friday's home opener.

The previous three to go deep in their first four all failed to leave the yard in their fifth.

"If you put him in the Grand Canyon, he'll hit it out,'' teammate Adam Jones said. "Whatever he's doing, stick to it. Show up tomorrow and do it again.''

Davis, who also added a sacrifice fly Friday, is 9 for 15 with four homers, three doubles and 16 RBI. After finishing tied for the fourth-most strikeouts in the AL with 169 in 2012, he's struck out only once this season.

Davis was hitting only .152 with two homers and 17 strikeouts in 13 career games versus Minnesota entering this series.

Jones went 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs - including a run-scoring single in the eighth to tie the score - and is hitting .412 with three homers during an eight-game hitting streak against the Twins.

He's had three hits apiece in three of his first four games, going 10 for 19 with eight runs scored.

The Twins (2-2) couldn't hold their late lead Friday after taking two of three from defending AL champion Detroit to open the season. Brian Dozier went 2 for 4 with a two-run triple and three RBIs.

Minnesota will turn to Vance Worley on Saturday in its attempt to slow down Davis, Jones and the rest of the Orioles' lineup.

Worley (0-1, 4.50 ERA) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings in his Minnesota debut, falling 4-2 to Detroit on Monday. He gave up all three runs and five hits through the first two innings before settling down.

"The first couple of innings I was up in the zone," said Worley, acquired from Philadelphia for Ben Revere in the offseason. "I was just trying to get comfortable out there."

The right-hander gave up three unearned runs and four hits in six innings for the Phillies June 9 in his only career start versus Baltimore.

The Orioles will counter with Chris Tillman, who went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 starts after being called up in July last season.

His worst outing, though, came against the Twins as he allowed seven runs - one earned - and five hits while walking two in two-thirds of an inning in a 19-7 loss July 16.

The right-hander has lost each of his three career starts versus Minnesota while posting a 4.26 ERA.

Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game. He's expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a strained right hamstring suffered when he slid into second base during Thursday's win over Tampa Bay.