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Twins Vs. Orioles Preview: Minnesota Looking To Avoid Three-Game Sweep

Minnesota hopes to avoid falling to 0-3 on Sunday in its series finale with Baltimore.

Presswire

The Minnesota Twins were baffled by Baltimore starter Jake Arrieta on Friday, and watched in horror as lefthander Francisco Liriano was quickly chased from the mound in the second game of the series. Now it will be up to 26-year-old Anthony Swarzak, who was 4-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 11 starts for the Twins last year, to stop Minnesota from being swept by the Orioles in the first series of the season.

The 2-0 Orioles will send recent free agent signing Jason Hammel to the mound for his first start of 2012, and his first as an AL player since 2008 (Tampa Bay). Hammel won 27 games over the last three seasons with the Colorado Rockies at hitter-friendly Coors Field, and is yet another important piece of a Balitmore rotation that features unheralded players capable of eating up innings.

After two games, outfielder Josh Willingham has been one of the few bright spots for the Twins at the plate. Willingham hit his first home run in a Minnesota uniform in Friday's loss, and has hit safely in both games. For a player with four 20+ home run seasons to his credit, the extra pop that Willingham provides to the Minnesota lineup offers a fair amount of hope that this team can turn things around.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 pm ET. Stay with SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream for full coverage throughout the game.

For more on the Twins, head over to Twinkie Town. For more MLB coverage, be sure to check out Baseball Nation.

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