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Given an opportunity to take three out of four in the series, the Orioles were hammered today by the Minnesota Twins, 6-0, at Target Field.

They finished the road trip with a 2-5 record and are now 9-23 on the season.

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Rookie left-hander Brian Matusz had one of the worst starts of his young career, allowing six earned runs on nine hits and a walk in just 3 2/3 innings.

And the Orioles' offense remained in its slumber. The Orioles had just six hits. All but one was a single, and two of them were of the infield variety. Another one, by Adam Jones in the seventh inning, appeared to be caught by Twins left fielder Delmon Young, but the umpires ruled that the ball bounced into his glove.

In the four-game series in Minnesota, the Orioles scored 10 runs, and seven of them were in one game. They tallied 29 hits, but 12 of them were in one game.

On the seven-game road trip, they scored just 17 runs and were held to one run or fewer four times.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said before Wedneday's series finale in New York that if guys don't start hitting, they are heading to Triple-A Norfolk. His patience was just about worn thin. In five games since, the Orioles scored 15 runs.

It will be interesting to see whether changes are made before Tuesday's series opener against the Seattle Mariners. Orioles manager Dave Trembley acknowledged he is intrigued by what outfielder Corey Patterson has done at Triple-A Norfolk.

I'm not sure whether he's the answer, but you almost have to try something, don't you? You have to expect Matusz to have a couple of bad outings. You also have to expect the Orioles offense to get on a hot streak at some point and put up a bunch of runs.

It hasn't happened.

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