BALTIMORE — The Twins and Orioles will wind up playing their entire three-game series over a 24-hour period, with today’s finale scheduled for just after noon, Central time. The Twins can only hope that last night’s offensive feast extends to Easter Sunday, too.
The Twins and Orioles combined to hit 17 home runs in Minnesota’s doubleheader sweep, which broke or tied a number of records. Most notably: It’s the most home runs ever hit in one day in major-league history, surpassing the 15 that the Cubs and Braves hit in a Wrigley Field doubleheader in 1956. The Twins’ eight-homer output in Game 2 also tie their franchise record (set back in 1963) for most in one game.
Can the Twins keep blasting away? They’ll face a familiar pitcher: Dylan Bundy, who started three different games against the Twins in spring training last month. Sunday is off to a rough start — 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA — so I’m sure the Twins are eager to hit against him again.
Kyle Gibson’s start hasn’t been much better. He doesn’t have a decision yet, but his ERA is an ugly 7.36. Then again, the last time he pitched at Camden Yards, he didn’t allow a hit over six innings.
“He’s probably run into a couple of spurts where he hasn’t commanded the ball the way that he’s wanted to,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “But honestly, over the long haul, we can be pretty happy with the way he’s looked, and his stuff. It’s just figuring out a way to get from the beginning of a start to the end of a start and not hit a little spot where he’s not feeling it.”
With the quick turnaround, and a flight to Houston coming up shortly after the game, Baldelli is using his third different catcher in the series. Willians Astudillo, who hit his second home run of the season on Saturday, is behind the plate today, and batting second.
Max Kepler is better, but he’s still feeling sick, Baldelli said, so he’ll sit out for a second straight day, with Jorge Polanco moving up into the leadoff spot. Blake Parker was bothered by the flu, too, but he told me in the clubhouse he feels much better today and should be available.
Here are the lineups as the Twins try to win for the eighth time in nine games at Camden Yards: