The Orioles hope to keep the magic - and winning - going Saturday as they continue their season-opening series against the Minnesota Twins. Baltimore got the 2012 season started right with a 4-2 victory over the Twins on Friday. Nick Markakis went 2 for 3 with a triple, home run and three RBIs for Baltimore. He also scored two of the team's four runs while former Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy scored the other two. Minnesota's oft-injured stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau played together in the same game for the first time since Aug. 23, but combined to go a lackluster 1 for 6 with two walks. Morneau played only 69 games last season while Mauer appeared in 82 games for the Twins, who stumbled to a 63-99 record after winning the AL Central in 2009 and 2010.
The Twins hope for better luck Saturday against Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter. The right-hander went 3-3 with a 5.06 ERA for the Orioles last season after coming over from Texas at the trade deadline. Francisco Liriano makes his first start for Minnesota, looking to put an inconsistent 2011 behind him. Liriano threw a no-hitter against the White Sox last May but otherwise was up-and-down, finishing the year 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA. We think both lineups will be able to produce some hits early and set up RISP with opportunities to score some runs in this one. The price here is a tad steep but we hope to open the 2012 season on a high note after hitting about 58% last season. Best of luck however you play!