Young's Hot July Continues; Twins Beat Orioles
BALTIMORE (AP) _ The only thing hotter than the 99 degree temperatures at Camden Yards was Delmon Young’s sizzling bat.
Young extended his torrid performance in July by going 4 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs, leading the Minnesota Twins past the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 Saturday night.
The four hits tied a career high for Young, who is batting .429 with four homers and 22 RBIs this month.
“I don’t want to even think about it. I just want to show up every day and go out there and play,” Young said. “I don’t even like you talking about it right now.”
Asked for comment on Young’s sensational July, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, “He’s having a great everything. He’s just had a great year up to this point. He’s getting his hits, he’s hot, he works really hard, he studies the pitchers.”
During the four-game series that concludes Sunday, Baltimore has tried just about everything to get Young out.
Nothing has worked: He’s 7 for 11 with six RBIs.
“Right now it looks like if he can reach it, it’s a base hit,” Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel said. “He’s just on one of those streaks that hitters get into, seeing the ball very, very well. No matter how well you pitch, they find a way to get hits.”
Game-time temperature was just short of 100 degrees. Neither team took batting practice outdoors, and trainers reminded the players to drink plenty of fluids.
“It’s hot. There’s no getting around it,” Gardenhire said beforehand. “Both teams have to fight it.”
Twins starter Scott Baker (8-9) did so with relative ease. After going 1-4 in his previous five starts, the right-hander allowed two runs and four hits, struck out eight and walked one in seven innings.
“I grew up in this stuff,” Baker said. “This is every day in Louisiana.”
Baker is 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA in seven career outings against Baltimore. It was his first road win since April 10.
Danny Valencia had three hits for the Twins, who took a 3-2 lead on Young’s two-run drive in the fifth inning before pulling away against the Baltimore bullpen.
Luke Scott hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, now 2-7 on a 10-game homestand that ends Sunday.
Rookie Brian Matusz (3-11) allowed three runs, six hits and three walks in five innings. He fell to 0-7 at home and assumed the AL lead in losses, moving ahead of teammate Jeremy Guthrie.
Despite the loss, Matusz said, “I’m really happy how I came through that outing. The confidence I have and the momentum I have coming into my next outing, I feel like I made a big stride today.”
The Twins trailed 2-1 in the fifth before Michael Cuddyer singled and Young hit his 12th homer, a drive to left that increased his team-high RBI total to 72.
Minnesota made it 4-2 in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Alexi Casilla, then added three runs in the seventh _ an uprising that featured RBI doubles by Valencia and Jason Repko.
The Twins finished with 14 hits, and the score would have been much more lopsided had they not stranded 12 runners.
Minnesota took advantage of a wild streak by Matusz to go up 1-0 in the first. Matusz walked three of the first four batters before Young hit a sacrifice fly to score Denard Span.
“You never want to have innings like that where you walk three guys and put yourself in that situation and push your pitch count up that early in the game. That’s what really hurt,” Matusz said. “But getting out with one run was great, based on the circumstances.”
Span contributed defensively in the second by robbing Scott of a home run. After positioning himself in front of the 7-foot wall in center, Span leaped and reached over the barrier to make the grab.
On his next at-bat, Scott hit the ball well beyond the grasp of Repko and into the third row of the right-field seats.
NOTES: The Twins put off until Sunday a decision on whether to put 2B Orlando Hudson (strained ribcage muscle) on the DL. … Baltimore is expected to bring C Matt Wieters (hamstring) off the DL by Sunday. … Repko struck out three times. … Orioles 2B Brian Roberts was 0 for 7 since coming off the DL on Friday before getting a single in the eighth, his first hit since April 8.