MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins outscored the Orioles 26-9 over four games in this weekend’s series at Target Field, including a 10-1 decision on Sunday. Minnesota, now 39-48, came into the series having lost eight of 10, but the Orioles made the Twins look like a team competing for a pennant.
The Orioles leave Minnesota at 24-65, 41 games below .500 and 36.5 games back in the American League East. They still hold the worst record in baseball and are on pace for their worst season ever. However, they have yet to make a single trade or firing.
The stalling needs to end right now. It’s already been long enough, but ownership needs to let the front office free to start building for the future. With Peter Angelos sitting in the top chair of the organization, your guess as to what the Orioles will do is as good as mine.
Game 1 (5-2 MIN): Making just his second appearance for the Twins this season, Aaron Slegers gave manager Paul Molitor a reason to consider giving the fifth spot in Minnesota’s rotation to him. The 25-year-old right-hander limited the Orioles to one run over six innings of work on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. The O’s finished the game with five hits, with both of their two runs scored on solo home runs by Jonathan Schoop, his ninth and 10th homers of the season.
The Twins got on the board in the third inning when Jake Cave scored after a fielding error by Baltimore starter Andrew Cashner. Bobby Wilson hit a ground ball to Chris Davis, who was about halfway up the first base line. Cashner ran over to first base to record the out, but Davis’s throw hit his glove and rolled close to the first base dugout. Wilson advanced to second on the play and scored on a single by Eddie Rosario.
The Twins took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning on Logan Morrison‘s 10th home run of the season. It was the final run scored off Cashner, who went six innings after giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.
With Brad Brach pitching in the eighth inning, the Twins plated their final two runs. Morrison singled with one out and advanced to second on a 2-3 (Chance Sisco-Davis) groundout. He then scored on a single by Max Kepler. Kepler scored from first on a double to center-field by Cave. 41-year-old closer Fernando Rodney racked up his 18th save of the season, striking out two.
Game 3 (5-4 MIN): The Orioles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, the only lead they held the entire weekend behind the bats of Manny Machado and Davis. Tim Beckham smacked a leadoff double two right field, then moved to third on an Adam Jones ground-out. Then, Machado grounded out to shortstop Jorge Polanco, allowing Beckham to cross home plate. After Mark Trumbo walked, Davis hit his eighth home run of the season to center-field.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson, even with the three-run first inning. earned his third win of the season after going seven innings, striking out nine and allowing nine hits and four walks.
Kevin Gausman retired the side in the first three innings, but started to dwindle afterwards. Minnesota tied the game in the fifth inning with a combination of power and small ball. With one out, Kepler launched his 10th home run of the season to cut Baltimore’s lead to 3-1. Robbie Grossman then hit a double to Jace Peterson in left field, and moved to third on a single by Cave. Following a mound visit, Wilson singled to Danny Valencia in right, scoring Grossman and advancing Cave to third. Gausman then ran into some command issues, walking Joe Mauer and allowing Cave to score on a wild pitch.
After Cave scored, Gausman struck out Rosario and Brian Dozier to end the inning, but the damage had been done and a win would not be possible for Gausman. Miguel Castro came on in relief in the sixth and ran into some trouble right away. Eduardo Escobar led off with his 35th double of the season, and then Castro walked both Polanco and Kepler. The Orioles’ defense forced two outs on ground balls, but Wilson’s ensuing double plated both Kepler and Grossman to lift Minnesota up 5-3.
Despite Peterson plating Schoop on a ninth-inning double, Rodney picked up his 19th save with a strikeout.
Game 4: (10-1 MIN): The Twins scored eight runs in the sixth inning with Dozier leading the way. Dozier doubled to lead off the inning and later hit a three-run home run that gave Minnesota a 10-0 lead. Escobar also hit a two-run bomb in the inning. Mitch Garver opened up the scoring in the fifth inning with a two-run home run that scored Kepler.
Alex Cobb‘s horrible season continued, as the 30-year-old failed to record an out in the sixth inning after giving up Escobar’s home run and a single by Morrison. Cobb left the game due to a blister on his throwing hand, but Buck Showalter said after the game that it should not stop Cobb from making his next start.
The Twins scored four more sixth inning runs after Cobb’s exit, but it did not matter. The only Baltimore run came in the ninth inning on another garbage-time solo home run by Davis, his ninth of the season.
Up Next: The Orioles return to Camden Yards for an eight-game home-stand, the final stretch before the All-Star break. The first four games of that span take place over three days against the Yankees. A single-admission doubleheader will take place on Monday beginning at 4:05 pm, resulting from a rain-out on May 31. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games begin at 7:05 pm.
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