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Friday night Orioles game thread: at Twins, 8:10 ET

The Orioles hit the final stop of their three-city road trip with a visit to first-place Minnesota.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox
Let’s see what Spenser Watkins has in store for us today.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Chicago and Seattle have been crossed off the list. Now the Orioles have one last stop, Minnesota, before they return to Camden Yards for a week. The O’s, currently 4-3 on their 10-game trek, have a chance for a winning road trip if they can take the series against the Twins.

It won’t be easy, though, as Minnesota is currently in first place in the AL Central, clinging to a one-game lead over Cleveland. The Twins boast some heavy hitters, especially at the top of the lineup, but their bullpen has sprung a few leaks of late. In five of the Twins’ last six losses, they held a lead in the eighth inning or later, only for the relief crew to blow it. So don’t fret if the Orioles fall behind early in the game — they’ll have a fighting chance to come back late.

The O’s will face Joe Ryan, who has a strong 3.20 ERA but has been a bit hittable of late, as Andrea pointed out in the series preview. The Orioles saw him May 3 and chased him in the fifth inning. The Birds will counter with Spenser Watkins, who returned from a month-long minor league stint to toss five solid innings against the White Sox, giving up just an unearned run. Watkins faced the Twins on May 5 and he, like Ryan, failed to get out of the fifth inning.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
RF Austin Hays
DH Anthony Santander
1B Ryan Mountcastle
C Adley Rutschman
2B Rougned Odor
LF Ryan McKenna
3B Jonathan Arauz
SS Jorge Mateo

Trey Mancini is out of the Orioles’ lineup again, suffering from lingering soreness in his right hand after getting hit by a pitch by the Blue Jays back on June 13.

Twins lineup:

DH Luis Arraez
CF Byron Buxton
SS Carlos Correa
RF Max Kepler
2B Jorge Polanco
1B Jose Miranda
LF Alex Kiriloff
3B Gio Urshela
C Ryan Jeffers

I like that the first three batters in the Twins’ lineup have last names beginning with A, B, C, in that order. If only Josh Donaldson were still on the Twins to bat cleanup.