Orioles/Twins lineups and pregame tidbits

*Tonight’s game is an ESPN telecast, and rookie Zach Britton will get the start against the Twins Nick Blackburn. I did an in-depth feature on Britton before his last start in Cleveland, including the shirt he wears under his uniform in memory of one of his childhood friends, who was killed by a drunk driver a few years ago. You can read more about that -and how Britton got his start– here.

*Brian Matusz (strained left intercostal muscle) had another good day today (throwing from 60-100 feet) and will fly to Baltimore on Thursday to rejoin the team. He will throw again on Friday, take Saturday off and throw again on Sunday. The earliest Matusz –who will stay with the team for the rest of the homestand — would throw off the mound be sometime next week.

The Orioles are being cautious with him right and the plan is for pitching coach Mark Connor to see who the ball is coming out of Matusz’s hands before they continue to progress.

*J.J. Hardy (left rib cage strain) is feeling better but there is still one exercise in twisting his core that gives him some trouble. Manager Buck Showalter spoke with Hardy today and once he clears that last step he will start baseball activities. They are targeting Saturday or Sunday for that.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Derrek Lee 1B
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Luke Scott LF
Adam Jones CF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Matt Wieters C
Robert Andino SS
Zach Britton LHP

TWINS LINEUP
Denard Span CF
Jason Repko LF
Jason Kubel RF
Michael Cuddyer 1B
Jim Thome DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Luke Hughes 2B
Steve Holm C
Matt Tolbert SS

Nick Blackburn RHP

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