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Orioles begin set with Twins at Camden Yards

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles continue their push toward the postseason on Friday when they start a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards.

After getting swept by the Chicago Cubs last weekend, the Orioles got themselves untracked at home and took three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays to extend their lead atop the American League East to seven games.

In the midst of an 11-game homestand, the O's improved to 18-6 over the last 24 in Charm City on Thursday thanks to a 5-4 win over the Rays. .

"To take three out of four was big. I think we're playing really good ball," said J.J. Hardy, whose RBI single carried the O's to the win.

Hoping to carry the momentum into Friday will be righty Miguel Gonzalez, who has lost two of his last three starts. Gonzalez was defeated by the Cubs on Sunday, but pitched well, surrendering two runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings to fall to 6-7 to go along with a 3.75 ERA.

Gonzalez lost his only other start to the Twins back in May and allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with right-handed rookie Trevor May, who is still searching for his first major league win. May fell to 0-3 on Saturday, as Detroit ripped him for five runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He also fanned four batters without issuing a walk.

"I felt comfortable throwing the ball over the plate, and not giving up any free passes was definitely a plus," said May, who has pitched to an 8.79 ERA. "From here, it's about stringing those zeros together and getting some 'Ws' in the win column."

Minnesota comes into Baltimore having lost four of five, but did manage to salvage the finale of its three-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Jordan Schafer and Brian Dozier each knocked in two runs during a six-run 10th inning to help the Twins to an 11-5 win and avoid a three-game sweep.

"Anytime you can help your team, it's a great feeling, whether it's with defense or stolen bases or scoring runs," Schafer said.

Anthony Swarzak (3-1) recorded the final two outs in the ninth to pick up the win. Tommy Milone got the start for Minnesota and gave up four runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Minnesota took two of three from the O's earlier in the year.

08/29 10:41:01 ET

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