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Twins Try To Bust Their Slump Against Orioles

#Itsreallynothappening.

For those unversed in Twins fan Twitter dialect, local radio station 1500 ESPN created an entire campaign around the Twitter hashtag "#Itshappening". As in "it's happening--the Twins are coming back." When the Twins were storming back into the pennant race around the All-Star Break after a horrendous start to the season, we were reminded of all the previous seasons when Minnesota was able to come from behind to clinch the AL Central. Hence, #Itshappening.

It seems like those days were eons ago, doesn't it? Even the website dedicated to the campaign has thrown in the towel on the 2011 season.

At this point, the Twins are simply playing for pride against the similarly hapless Orioles. Unfortunately, even that is proving to be difficult for the injury-plagued Twins as they've been beaten soundly by Baltimore the first two games of the series. Baltimore's pitching staff hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire this season, yet Minnesota has scraped across only two runs.

At first glance, Baltimore's starter Jeremy Guthrie would be prime for reversing the trend of Minnesota's anemic offense. But his 5-16 record is due to more bad luck on a bad team rather than bad pitching. He has a respectable 4.55 ERA and 13 quality starts this year.

Kevin Slowey will get his second start of 2011 for Minnesota. Slowey has spent most of the year on the DL (and in manager Ron Gardenhire's doghouse). He allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Yankees his last time out.

The first pitch at Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM CT.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.