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Orioles left frustrated by missed chances

Baltimore strands 10 runners on base in loss to Twins
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Orioles had plenty of chances to rally late in a 6-4 loss to the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field, but they were unable to deliver that timely hit.

Baltimore left 10 baserunners stranded, including five over the final three frames. It was the 13th time this season and second straight game that the O's left double-digit players on base. The team is now a season-worst five games below .500 after losing four straight.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Orioles had plenty of chances to rally late in a 6-4 loss to the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field, but they were unable to deliver that timely hit.

Baltimore left 10 baserunners stranded, including five over the final three frames. It was the 13th time this season and second straight game that the O's left double-digit players on base. The team is now a season-worst five games below .500 after losing four straight.

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"We have been playing lousy, and no one is giving us any room. We better get with the program," Mark Trumbo said. "You have to play fundamental baseball. We have to have good starting pitching, some timely hitting, [and] guys getting on base. Those are the ingredients to a good ballclub."

Trumbo gave the Orioles the early lead, lifting a fastball to center, for a two-run shot in the second inning. It was his 13th homer on the season and first in a 3-0 count. The lead was brief, however, as the Twins responded with a six-run outburst in the bottom of the third.

Video: MIN@BAL: Trumbo opens the scoring with two-run homer

Baltimore chipped at the deficit with a run in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Paul Janish and another run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly via Hyun Soo Kim. Still, that key hit never seemed to come despite countless opportunities.

"That's a good pitcher we were facing and a good bullpen," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "We created some good opportunities for ourselves, we just didn't finish it off. We were a big hit away."

Video: BAL@MIN: Janish scores Mancini on a grounder to third

Perhaps the biggest missed chance came in the seventh. The Orioles loaded the bases against right-hander Tyler Duffey and brought Trey Mancini, the team's most clutch hitter this year, to the plate. Entering Thursday, he boasted an American League-best .408 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Duffey buckled down and induced an inning-ending groundout. The O's are 6-for-33 this season with the bases juiced and two outs.

Video: BAL@MIN: Duffey gets groundout to escape jam in 7th

Showalter elected to use three pinch-hitters in the eighth, but the results were the same, despite bringing the potential tying run to the plate. Following a one-out single in the ninth, Adam Jones and Trumbo rolled into a pair of groundouts to end the game.

"Collectively, we just didn't play well enough. We haven't for awhile," Trumbo said. "We have to do a better job out there."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Orioles on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles, Paul Janish, Hyun Soo Kim, Mark Trumbo