Tim Lincecum returns to form with 12 strikeouts against Twins

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Tim Lincecum entered Thursday 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA in four starts this month, but one never would have guessed it from his showing against the Twins.  He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 12, before exiting a 1-0 game.

Lincecum started this season showing better velocity than he had either of the previous two years, but with his mechanics a bit out whack, he has lost something off his fastball over the last several weeks.  That was a secondary issue, though; the bigger problem was his struggles with his command.  He walked 12 in 15 innings over his previous three starts.

In this one, Lincecum walked two and threw 72 of his 109 pitches for strikes.  He certainly wasn’t facing the best of lineups; the Twins’ four-best hitters (Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jim Thome and Jason Kubel) were all absent, as was center fielder Denard Span.  Still, with the way Lincecum was throwing today, there wasn’t a team in the league that would have fared a whole lot better.  It was a very encouraging performance for the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

Report: Orioles to name Brandon Hyde new manager

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Update (8:23 PM ET): MASN’s Roch Kubatko talked to new GM Mike Elias, who said there has been no offer made to Hyde for the position. Elias called the report “premature.”

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The Orioles are expected to name Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde as the new manager, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Nothing is official yet.

Hyde, 45, spent four seasons in the minors with the White Sox from 1997-2000, then played in the independent Western League in 2001 before calling it quits. He was a coach with the Marlins from 2010-12 and has been with the Cubs since 2013.

Other candidates for the Orioles’ open managerial position have included Pedro Grifol, Chip Hale, Mike Redmond, Mike Bell, and Manny Acta.

Hyde is taking over for Buck Showalter, who was at the helm of the Orioles from 2010-18. Last season, however, the Orioles finished 47-115, the worst record in team history. Hyde will be taking over a team that is rebuilding, so the expectations will be relatively low in his first couple of seasons.