With Chris Davis' help, the Baltimore Orioles continue to have few problems winning at home lately. They've had even fewer during recent starts from Chris Tillman.
The right-hander will seek to finish the month 5-0 by earning his first win in five career starts against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
Baltimore (77-56) didn't sweat too much in its 19th victory in 25 home games and the fourth in its last five overall, beating Minnesota 9-1 in Friday's series opener. Chris Davis broke open the game in the fourth inning with his fourth career grand slam and third home run in the last five contests.
Seven of Davis' 14 hits this month have gone over the fence, and he's hit five homers in his last 10 home games. The .189 hitter is 10 for 31 (.323) with four homers and 17 RBIs in his last eight contests against Minnesota.
The Orioles would seem to have a good chance to keep things rolling with Tillman (11-5, 3.41 ERA) going to the mound. He's registered a 1.26 ERA in his five starts this month and allowed a combined two runs, six hits and three walks in 15 innings in his last two outings
Baltimore has won the last six times Tillman has pitched by a 39-13 margin, the latest a 9-1 rout of visiting Tampa Bay on Monday. The right-hander gave up an unearned run, three hits and two walks in seven innings.
"I think, mechanically, I'm pretty sound," Tillman said. "I'm able to repeat my delivery, so I think that translates into being able to throw all your pitches for strikes. That's important."
Tillman hasn't fared nearly as well in his previous four starts against Minnesota (59-74), going 0-3 with a 6.06 ERA. The most recent was a 6-5 defeat at Camden Yards on April 6, 2013.
Minnesota, loser in nine of 13, will send out struggling Kyle Gibson (11-10, 4.31). The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in his last four starts and has permitted 10 runs in 10 innings in his past two.
He allowed five runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings Sunday in a 13-4 drubbing by Detroit. He opened with two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third.
"I think early on I felt like, 'Hey, it was going to be a start that would get me back on track,'" Gibson said. "Then the third inning, left a couple pitches up and got myself hurt in that inning."
Gibson is 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his last six road starts but has never pitched against the Orioles.
It's unknown if Steve Pearce will play in this game. The first baseman left after the third inning Friday with a strained right abdominal and he had a career-best, 11-game hit streak snapped.
Slated to be a utility player coming into this season, Pearce is batting .289 with career highs of 16 homers and 37 RBIs. His status for the near future could hinge on his MRI on Saturday morning.
"I'm just hoping it's a day or two thing," Pearce said. "I'm not feeling any pain or anything, just discomfort."