BALTIMORE — Chris Tillman is back and working on improving with each start, something the Baltimore Orioles right-hander will try again in a Wednesday matinee with the Twins. He also is hoping to prevent a Minnesota sweep.
Minnesota (24-18) won the first two games of the three-game series during its lone visit to Baltimore this year.
The Twins took the second game 2-0 on Tuesday night when Ervin Santana threw a two-hit shutout.
“You can’t throw enough superlatives his way when you have a performance like that,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said about Santana.
The Orioles would like to see Tillman throw the way Santana did. Tillman (1-0, 3.52 ERA) will be making his fourth start after missing the first several weeks of the season due to shoulder bursitis.
He had a no-decision in his last start, when he gave up three runs in six innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
The right-hander appears to be getting stronger with each start, and the Orioles likely are hoping to see him stretch out a bit as time goes on to help take pressure off a bullpen worn down a bit due to inconsistent starting.
Still, Tillman is looking for his first career win versus the Twins. He has an 0-4 career record with a 4.50 ERA in seven career starts.
Manager Buck Showalter is optimistic the Orioles can snap their three-game losing streak.
“There’s just a rhythm to it, but like I’ve said many times, your momentum is who’s pitching for you and who you’re facing,” Showalter said. “You can be swinging the bats as good as can be swung, and you get a guy like (Santana) on top of his game, and it can make you look that way.”
Twins right-hander Jose Berrios (2-0, 0.59 ERA) will make his third start of the season on Wednesday. He is coming off a stellar start against the Rockies on Thursday, when he tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings of two-hit ball. He struck out 11 against just one walk.
The 22-year-old is the youngest pitcher in the major leagues to post 11 or more strikeouts this season.
Berrios has an 0-0 record with a 5.40 ERA in one game against the Orioles, a start at home on May 10, 2016.
The Orioles kept going with their nearly daily flurry of moves on Tuesday. They sent down right-hander Stefan Crichton to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled left-hander Jayson Aquino.
As for struggling starter Ubaldo Jimenez, Showalter said the right-hander is still in the rotation and is scheduled to start Sunday but that the team will see what happens when that day comes.
The Twins did not make a move and were waiting for more information on injured starter Phil Hughes, placed on the disabled list Monday due to right biceps inflammation. Manager Paul Molitor said that Hughes had an MRI exam Tuesday, but the results were not immediately known.
In addition, Molitor said Hughes would have another type of exam on Wednesday.
“They’re turning over every stone here to make sure we’re not missing anything,” Molitor said.