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Sun, May 12, 2013 - 2:10 PM ET
 

Orioles-Twins Preview

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Scott Diamond has been solid since coming off the disabled list last month.

The Minnesota Twins left-hander, though, continues to struggle at home.

Diamond will try to win a career high-tying third consecutive start - and his first in Minneapolis in nine outings - in Sunday's rubber game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Since coming off the DL on April 13 following offseason elbow surgery, Diamond (3-2, 3.03 ERA) has allowed just 10 earned runs and three walks while striking out 15 in five outings. The southpaw threw a season-high seven innings of shutout ball in Tuesday's 6-1 win at Boston.

"Everything is getting back in sync," Diamond, 12-7 with a 3.54 ERA as a rookie a year ago, told the Twins' official website. "This is what you always work toward. It feels good to have it happen. But it's still a long season, so we have to continue to build."

The Twins (17-16), looking to build off Saturday's 8-5 win, hope Diamond can deliver after going 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA in his first two home starts this season. He is 0-6 with a 5.15 ERA in his last eight starts at Target Field.

Diamond will face an Orioles teams that's won or split its last three series in Minneapolis.

Baltimore (22-15) has 30 hits in this series, led by third baseman Manny Machado, who has three in each game. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones are also feasting on Twins pitching. Markakis, 12 for 22 in five games against Minnesota this season, is batting .513 (20 for 39) during his nine-game hitting streak in this matchup.

Jones' streak versus Minnesota reached 12 on Saturday with a double, and he's batting .478 (11 for 23) against the Twins this season.

Jones and Markakis both have two hits in three at-bats off Diamond.

While the Orioles are batting .330 against the Twins in 2013, they've only defeated them twice in large part due to their starters posting a 10.03 ERA.

Sunday's scheduled starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-3, 3.40) will pitch against Minnesota for the second time in his career after throwing seven innings of three-run ball in a 4-3 victory in Minneapolis on July 19.

The Orioles have won three of the left-hander's last four starts after he went 6 1-3 innings in Tuesday's 4-3 victory over Kansas City. Chen's outing was cut short due to a rain delay, and he had to settle for a no-decision after leaving with a 3-1 lead.

"I just want to keep helping the team, do my job, keep my team in the ballgame," he told the Orioles' official website through an interpreter. "And keep winning the ballgame."

Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have been doing their part to help Minnesota win four of five. Mauer, 6 for 9 with three runs and three RBIs this series, is riding a 10-game hitting streak, while Morneau has hit safely in seven straight games. He matched season highs with three hits and three RBIs on Saturday.

Mauer, Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dozier and Josh Willingham, who had Saturday off, are all 1 for 3 off Chen.

The Twins' last home series win over Baltimore came in 2009.

Tagged: Orioles, Twins, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones

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