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KC@MIN: Correia goes seven strong innings vs. Royals

For the sleep-deprived Orioles and Twins, both coming off Thursday doubleheaders, the schedule doesn't get any easier, with a Saturday afternoon contest coming after Friday night's game.

"Everybody has got them," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of rough patches in the schedule. "Nobody wants to hear it.

"You wish there was a better way around it," he added, "but the weather is the weather. Everybody has got to play 162."

The Orioles are playing without first baseman Chris Davis, but they got All-Star third baseman Manny Machado back Thursday and have been sparked by the offseason acquisition of Nelson Cruz, who hit his eighth homer in Friday night's game.

"They have a very good baseball team with a lot of very good hitters," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of a Baltimore team that entered Friday with the American League's best average with runners in scoring position. "They have some big boys who can really drive a baseball. So we're going to have to be very good. We're going to have to pitch better and get our starters deeper in games."

Following Ricky Nolasco's complete game Friday, the Twins' turn to righty Kevin Correia, who was hit hard in his latest start, as he gave up eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and two walks over just 2 1/3 innings pitched against the Tigers on April 25.

"I wasn't able to hit any of my spots, and I can't pitch like that against a team like that," Correia said. "Big innings will kill you, and you can't have those."

Correia will be opposed by O's lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Chen went a season-high seven innings to keep the Royals at bay, scattering nine hits and two walks.

Twins: Pelfrey to disabled list
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin on Friday, and he will be replaced in the rotation by right-hander Samuel Deduno. The Twins said shortstop Danny Santana would be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take Pelfrey's spot on the roster.

Pelfrey has struggled with a 7.99 ERA in five starts this season, including a subpar outing in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Dodgers, giving up five runs over four innings.

Pelfrey maintained after his start that he was healthy, but he told Gardenhire on Friday that he was dealing with a groin injury. The Twins are hopeful the rest will help Pelfrey regain his velocity, as his fastball is averaging 91 mph compared with 92.4 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com. Pelfrey has also struggled with his control, walking 18 batters in 23 2/3 innings.

Orioles: Brach called up from Triple-A
Seeking to replenish their bullpen after Thursday's doubleheader, the Orioles recalled right-hander Brad Brach from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Friday night's series opener in Minnesota.

Brach got the call at about 2 a.m. and met the team in Minneapolis. He will be making his Orioles debut.

"I've had a couple of outings I wish I could change a little bit, but overall I feel really good," said Brach, who threw 16 pitches for Norfolk on Thursday night. "At the end of spring we made a couple of mechanical changes, and it's been night and day almost. I feel really good and just ready to help the team any way I can."

Brach has adjusted his footwork and direction toward the plate, which has resulted in better velocity and command. He has been encouraged by the changes, and the Orioles, who optioned Evan Meek after Thursday's second game, are in need of some strike-throwers.

Worth noting
• Twins outfielder Josh Willingham said he was scheduled on Saturday to take swings in the batting cage for the first time since he felt lingering soreness in his left wrist on Tuesday.

• Minnesota's center fielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the seven-day disabled list Friday with concussion-like symptoms. The Twins called up left-hander Logan Darnell to take Hicks' place on the roster.

• Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman was placed on the Minor League disabled list on Friday with focal pneumonia, which was actually good news given that the original, mistaken diagnosis was a left intercostal strain.

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