MINNEAPOLIS -- In a little over 20 minutes on Sunday, James Dozier amassed six total bases and three RBIs as he and the Twins piled on eight runs in the sixth inning.Minnesota used the big frame to cruise to a 10-1 win over the Orioles at Target Field, locking down
MINNEAPOLIS -- In a little over 20 minutes on Sunday, James Dozier amassed six total bases and three RBIs as he and the Twins piled on eight runs in the sixth inning.
Minnesota used the big frame to cruise to a 10-1 win over the Orioles at Target Field, locking down its first four-game sweep of the season. Sunday marked the second time this season that the Twins have scored 10 or more runs in a game, and the first such game they have won. Dozier drilled a double off the left-field wall to lead off the sixth and the next six Twins batters reached base.
"Much-needed," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of the performance. "Just trying to establish a little bit of something here as we head into our last week before break, and the guys responded. I think there's been a lot of encouraging signs, from nice starts from the rotation to some bats that contributed -- really everybody that got a chance somewhere along the way the last four days contributed."
Eduardo Escobar followed Dozier's double with his 14th homer of the season. Logan Morrison then dragged a bunt down the third-base line and Orioles starter Alex Cobb was removed from the game after Baltimore's athletic trainers examined a blister on his right hand.
Paul Fry came on to replace Cobb and the Twins greeted him with a barrage of hits. Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler drilled back-to-back singles, and Mitch Garver drove in a run and reached safely when Manny Machado's throw to home pulled Caleb Joseph off the plate.
Jake Cave followed with an RBI single before the Orioles recorded the first two outs of the inning. But Dozier ket the inning going when he crushed a 376-foot homer to left.
"It's really good," Molitor said of Dozier's day. "I know that he's prepared, he's working, he's just trying to find his rhythm up there. You know when he's hot and when he's not. He can hit a fastball as good as anybody in the game when things are going well, and he got a couple today. A little bit of topspin on the first one, which kept it in the park, but the next one he got a 3-1 fastball and it was really good to see him just click on it."
Jake Odorizzi delivered his strongest start in nearly two months as he struck out five batters over six innings and held Baltimore scoreless. Odorizzi generated nine swinging misses on the afternoon, including four in the sixth inning alone. He outlasted his former Tampa Bay teammate, Cobb, long enough for Minnesota's offense to come to life.
"The final score was kind of deceiving, but it was a close game for five or six innings," Odorizzi said. "Garver and I worked really well, tried to keep them off balance, do what we do. But the offense was the story. They really exploded there in that sixth inning. That allowed a lot of people relax and some guys get off their feet too, which is kind of crucial this time of year."
Garver put the Twins on the board in the fifth when he smashed a two-run homer for his fourth long ball of the season. In the four games he has started in the month of July, Garver is 6-for-13 (.462) with two homers and five RBIs.
The Twins will begin a three-game set with the Royals at 7:10 p.m. CT on Monday at Target Field. Jose Berrios will get the nod for the Twins and is in search of his ninth win. He enters Monday's start with a 4.38 K/BB ratio, which ranks seventh in the American League. The Royals will counter with left-hander Danny Duffy (4-8, 5.19 ERA).
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.