Twins open 6-pack in 3rd inning, hold off O's
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins rallied for six runs in the third inning, which was enough to push past the Orioles by a score of 6-4 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Target Field. Baltimore's skid was extended to four straight losses, while Minnesota has won all four meetings between the two teams this year.
Twins righty Jose Berrios limited the damage to four runs (three earned) over six frames, along with four strikeouts and no walks. His biggest hiccup came in the second, when Mark Trumbo crushed a 3-0 fastball to center for a two-run homer. According to Statcast™, Trumbo's 13th blast of the season went 411 feet with an exit velocity of 105.4 mph. It was Trumbo's first home run in a 3-0 count this season.
"The offense did a good job of picking me up," said Berrios, who improved to 8-2 with a 3.52 ERA. "I had my velocity, but I fell behind early. But luckily the hitters picked me up."
All six runs were charged to Dylan Bundy, who lasted five innings. He gave up five hits, including a two-run triple to Eduardo Escobar. Byron Buxton notched his third straight multihit effort after having nine over the first 78 games of the season. Max Kepler (two-run single) and Miguel Sano (RBI single) both contributed to the six-run outburst as well.
"That's horrible," Bundy said. "I gave up six runs in one inning, that's pretty pathetic. Have to limit those, that's unacceptable."
Baltimore made a late push against the Twins' bullpen, loading the bases in the seventh against Tyler Duffey. That's when Trey Mancini, who finished with a pair of doubles, grounded out to end the threat. Entering Thursday, Mancini was the American League leader with a .408 batting average with runners in scoring position. Minnesota's Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth and Brandon Kintzler did the same in the ninth to notch his 23rd save of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mancini's miscue: The Twins batted around in the third inning, pouring in six runs to reclaim the advantage, but it all began with a mistake by the defense. With one out, Robbie Grossman rolled a chopper toward Mancini, who elected to throw to second in an attempt at an inning-ending double play. The speedy Buxton was the runner on first, and he beat the throw to second base as Grossman reached first to load the bases. According to Statcast™'s Sprint Speed, Buxton is the second fastest runner in baseball with an average mark of 30 feet per second at full speed.
"That's just a poor decision on our part," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "With the lead he's getting and where we have to play the hitter, you are going to have a hard time getting him out there. Because of his foot speed, you don't throw the ball to second."
(R)Ed hot: The next three Minnesota batters reached via hits. Escobar capped off the effort with a triple to score Sano and Kepler, serving as the decisive blow. The ball took a weird bounce off the wall in right-center, and Seth Smith was unable to read it correctly. For Escobar, it was his first triple of the season and the 12th of his career. He is batting .431 (22-for-51) with five doubles and eight RBIs over his last 13 games at Target Field.
"I thought it was going to be double," Escobar said. "I didn't think I got a good swing on the ball. But the most important thing is it helped us win."
"We aren't playing to our capabilities, all the way around; starting pitching, hitting and defense. We need to do a much better job and we need to do it quickly," -- Trumbo, on the Orioles' slideMore >>
Orioles: Right-hander Kevin Gausman (5-7, 5.61 ERA) is slated to start Friday in the second game of the series at 8:10 p.m. ET. In his last start, he spun seven shutout frames in a win over the Rays. He's allowed just six hits over his last 12 1/3 innings.
Twins: Right-hander Felix Jorge (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will be called up from Double-A Chattanooga to start in place of the injured Hector Santiago on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Jorge made his Major League debut in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Royals, allowing three runs over five innings to get his first win. More >>
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