Power-surging Twins seek sweep of O's
After combining for a major league record 17 home runs in their doubleheader on Saturday, the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles complete their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.
And considering the struggles of both starting pitchers, it wouldn't be surprising to see plenty more fireworks.
Dylan Bundy (0-2, 7.79 ERA) takes the mound for Baltimore, while Kyle Gibson (0-0, 7.36) gets the nod for the Twins.
Bundy, who is 0-3 with a 5.01 ERA in four career starts against the Twins, has already allowed seven home runs in just 17 2/3 innings this season. This after allowing a major league high 41 homers in 2018. He'll be going against a Minnesota team that clubbed 11 homers on Saturday, including a team-record eight in a 16-7 victory in the night cap.
"It was a nice night, probably one of the better offensive nights I've ever seen," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "From top to bottom, our guys had quality at-bats, I mean barreled up some balls, and it was contagious."
Eddie Rosario hit three home runs in the two games and has clubbed five homers over the last three games, tying the Twins' franchise record for most any three-game span. That mark was set by Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew (Sept. 21-22, 1963) and later equaled by Brian Dozier (Sept. 4-6, 2016).
"When you're hitting the ball, you go to home plate feeling real comfortable," Rosario said. "I feel real comfortable right now. Everything the pitcher throws me, I see every ball right now. Feel good."
Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop and Mitch Garver each had two homers in the second game. C.J. Cron and Willians Astudillo also hit home runs in the doubleheader, as Minnesota fell just one homer shy of its team record of 12 set in 1963.
"This lineup is deep and from one through nine can do damage," Schoop said. "Today we got a lot of home runs and we scored a lot. I think this lineup is dangerous. Hopefully we can keep it up and win more games."
Meanwhile, Baltimore pitchers have already allowed 57 home runs this season, the most ever given up by a team by the end of April. The 1996 Detroit Tigers are the only other team to give up 50 by May 1.
The stats are even more eye-popping at home, where Orioles pitchers have allowed 39 home runs in just nine games, an average of 4.3 per contest.
"It seems like every game is a home run derby for us," said Alex Cobb, who tied his career-high by giving up nine runs, including three homers, and 10 hits in just 2 2/3 innings.
"I've never seen home runs being given up like we do and it's something we obviously need to improve on," first-year Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
"It's tough," utility man Hanser Alberto, who hit his first career home run for the Orioles in the second game, said. "It hurts, but we've got to turn the page. Got another game tomorrow, and hopefully it's a better one."
Gibson is 4-2 with a 4.89 ERA in nine career starts against the Orioles and has allowed three home runs in just 14 2/3 innings after giving up 23 homers last season.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 21, 2019