Thanks to Adam Jones, this blog entry won't be about a four-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Jones delivered in a clutch situation to turn Jim Johnson from the losing pitcher into the winning one in last night's 6-3 victory over the Red Sox.
It's pretty much been beaten to death, so there won't be any negative comments about the crowd primarily consisting of Red Sox fans during the four-game series.
To be honest, I think it was an excellent atmosphere for watching baseball. While the fans in attendance were mostly cheering for the Red Sox, at least they were passionate about the game. And the Orioles fans at Saturday night's game were able to witness history when Manny Ramirez hit his 500th career home run.
The Orioles just concluded a 13-game stretch against American League East competition. They went 4-9 during this period (1-5 on the road, 3-4 at home), which can't happen if they expect to remain competitive in the division.
They'll get a brief respite from divisional opponents by beginning a three-game series tonight in Minnesota against the Twins, but then it's right back to playing games against teams from the AL East. After this series, the Orioles travel to Toronto for three games against the Blue Jays and then conclude this road trip with three games in Boston.
The Twins recently hosted the New York Yankees for a four-game series. After losing the first two games by one run each, the Twins beat the Yankees in the last two games of the series, including 6-5 yesterday.
Minnesota is currently 30-27 and in second place in the American League Central.
Tuesday 6/3: Radhames Liz (season debut) vs. Kevin Slowey (2-4, 3.38)
Wednesday 6/4: Daniel Cabrera (5-1, 3.60) vs. Glen Perkins (2-2, 3.90)
Thursday 6/5: Garrett Olson (4-1, 4.03) vs. Scott Baker (2-0, 4.09)
Who you should play from the Twins
Justin Morneau, 1B – Although he is currently battling a couple of nagging injuries (sore left knee and strained calf muscle), Morneau should remain in your lineup during this series. The 2006 AL MVP is hitting .302 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 30 career games against the Orioles. So far this season, Morneau's statistics are much better at home than on the road. He is hitting .328 with 26 RBIs at the Metrodome, but on the road he is only hitting .271 with 16 RBIs.
Who you should bench from the Twins
Delmon Young, OF – Young had a promising rookie season with Tampa Bay last season with 13 home runs and 93 RBIs. He was the centerpiece of the offseason trade that sent starting pitcher Matt Garza to the Rays. However, he hasn't quite lived up to the promising expectations at this point in 2008. It's two months into the season and Young is still searching for his first home run. He's currently hitting .273 with 18 RBIs and 31 runs scored, but his true fantasy value will be realized when the home runs start flying.
Who you should play from the Orioles
Aubrey Huff, DH – It might be a good idea to find a spot for Huff in your lineup. The 31-year-old designated hitter is only hitting .254 this season, but he is leading the Orioles in RBIs (31), doubles (14), runs scored (32) and total bases (97). He's also tied with Nick Markakis with the most home runs (nine) on the team. Huff was 6-for-16 with one home run, two RBIs and four runs scored in the four-game series against the Red Sox. In 18 career games at the Metrodome, Huff is hitting .296 with four home runs and 13 RBIs. He's probably available in a lot of fantasy leagues, so grab him if you can.
Who you should bench from the Orioles
Adam Jones, CF – The 22-year-old center fielder was 4-for-12 with five RBIs in the final three games of the series against the Red Sox, but it's still not time to enter him into your everyday lineup. Jones is hitting .289 at Camden Yards, but he is only hitting .212 on the road. Both of his home runs so far this season were at home. While he's showing signs of emerging as a fantasy superstar, you should wait until he shows some more consistency on the road before permanently entering him into your lineup. For now, play him at home and let him enjoy the view from your bench while the team is away.