MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Gausman's strong start slipped away quickly. So did the Orioles' offense in another frustrating day for Baltimore.Gausman (4-6) faced the minimum through three innings before running into trouble in the fifth inning, and the Orioles surrendered a three-run lead in a 5-4 loss to the Twins on
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Gausman's strong start slipped away quickly. So did the Orioles' offense in another frustrating day for Baltimore.
Gausman (4-6) faced the minimum through three innings before running into trouble in the fifth inning, and the Orioles surrendered a three-run lead in a 5-4 loss to the Twins on Saturday at Target Field.
Gausman lasted five innings, allowing three runs -- all coming in the fifth as he gave up the lead -- on five hits and a walk.
"I had to really grind," Gausman said. "I thought they did a really good job of just kind of sticking the bat out there and putting the ball in play. They got some hits on some splits that lefties normally don't really get hits on. You just got to tip your cap."
Chris Davis hit his eighth homer of the year as part of a three-run first for Baltimore, which lost for the 12th time in 13 games.
"We really can't seem to put anything together," Davis said. "I feel like any time we start to build some momentum, we either give it right back to the other team or we do something to kind of take ourselves out of the game. This early on, being in this position, is definitely not what any of us thought was going to happen, or what any of us wanted."
Kyle Gibson (3-6) recovered from his slow start to earn the win for the Twins.
Gausman was in control early and didn't allow a hit until Joe Mauer's single to start the fourth. Mauer was stranded as Gausman retired the next three batters, but trouble loomed in the fifth.
After a groundout to start the inning, Minnesota put up four straight hits, including a solo homer by Max Kepler. Gausman recovered to strike out Eddie Rosario and James Dozier, but his day was finished after the inning.
Gausman had thrown three straight quality starts and not allowed more than two runs in any of his previous four starts.
The Twins added a two-run double by Bobby Wilson in the sixth off Orioles reliever Miguel Castro.
Baltimore couldn't sustain its offense after the first inning. The Orioles left the bases loaded in the third inning and Gibson retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
"We were patient early and then tried to get too much with one swing and let him take us out of the zone," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of Gibson. "He throws a lot of breaking balls. He did today, which we see a lot of regardless of what the pattern has been in the past. With good pitchers having a good year, once they get their feet on the ground and kind of get in a groove, you really want to try and add on there. That's one of the keys that's been eluding us."
Jace Peterson hit an RBI double in the ninth against Minnesota closer Fernando Rodney, bringing the winning run to the plate, but Timothy Beckham grounded out to end the game.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Davis goes deep: Davis got the Orioles started with a bang with his two-run homer to straightaway center field in the first. Davis' third homer in 10 games went a projected 418 feet, according to Statcast™, and gave the Twins the 3-0 lead after Manny Machado's RBI groundout.
Manny throws a strike: Minnesota's three-run sixth might have been more if not for some slick fielding by Baltimore. Davis fielded two straight ground balls and threw home for forceouts before Wilson's double.
The Twins tried to score a third run on the double, but left fielder Peterson and Machado combined to throw Jake Cave out at home trying to score from first on the play. Machado's relay throw was on the money to catcher Chance Sisco, who tagged Cave for the final out of the inning.
When Davis struck out against reliever Trevor Hildenberger in the eighth inning, he set a franchise record with 1,306 strikeouts as a member of the Orioles, breaking the mark held by Cal Ripken Jr.
"No, I wasn't aware of it," Davis said. "It's not something I'm particularly proud of. Unfortunately, it's part of my game. It's a big part of my game. It always has been with the home runs and the power, you get the strikeouts and swings-and-misses. You play long enough, you're going to swing and miss enough to apparently set some records. There's not really much to say about that."
Baltimore's road trip ends with the finale of the four-game series in Minnesota on Sunday with a 2:10 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Alex Cobb (2-10, 6.53 ERA) starts for the Orioles as the Twins counter with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-6, 4.57). Cobb has lost three decisions in his last five starts, with a 7.14 ERA in that span. Odorizzi pitched six scoreless innings against Baltimore in the season opener.
Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis.