Orioles Hit 2 homers, Beat Twins 5-4
BALTIMORE (AP) — Zach Britton’s voice was raspy, his face pale.
The Baltimore Orioles rookie felt awful, yet he still managed to get through six gritty innings in a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
“Yeah, I am exhausted. I was hacking up I don’t even know what in the dugout. I am pretty weak,” Britton said by his locker. “My body felt really good. It’s really my throat, and obviously my voice is gone. I felt pretty good, but now I am feeling worn out.”
Britton (3-1) gave up three runs, five hits and three walks in helping the Orioles win a second straight after an eight-game skid.
“He obviously wasn’t 100 percent tonight. You could hear him wheezing in the dugout,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But I’m sure the Minnesota Twins don’t want to hear it.”
Minnesota was again without Justin Morneau and Delmon Young, both of whom are battling the flu. Morneau has missed four straight games, Young hasn’t played since Monday and the short-handed Twins also have gone eight consecutive games without injured Joe Mauer (leg).
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau was trying to muster up enough strength to get one late at-bat.
“He was out there at the end of the game telling me that if we get a chance to win, he could do it,” Gardenhire said. “It was scary. He wanted to give it a shot.”
Matt Wieters and Vladimir Guerrero homered for the Orioles, who also got two RBIs from Adam Jones.
Baltimore led 5-1 after three innings, an almost insurmountable lead against a team that ranks last in the majors in runs. Minnesota is the only club in baseball that has not yet scored more than five runs in a game this season.
“We haven’t been swinging the bats well,” Gardenhire said, “but I liked the way the guys got after it.”
Wieters’ two-run drive gave him six RBIs over a two-game span. Guerrero’s homer was his second in two games and third this year.
Wieters, Guerrero and Jones led the way, but six different players got hits for Baltimore.
“That’s the big thing what we have to do, just pass it along to the next guy,” Wieters said. “If you just keep passing it along to the next guy, then you’re going to score a lot of runs.”
After Britton left, Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara followed before Kevin Gregg worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
Michael Cuddyer homered for the Twins and Danny Valencia went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. But last-place Minnesota fell to 6-12.
“We’re not playing awful baseball,” starter Nick Blackburn said. “A couple breaks here and there and things would be different. Right now we’re missing a couple of pretty good guys from our lineup, but I don’t think anyone has given up.”
Blackburn (1-3) yielded five runs and seven hits in seven innings. He’s 11-27 in 56 career road games compared to 22-12 at home.
Cuddyer led off the second inning with his first homer, increasing Minnesota’s major league-low total to six. The Twins then put runners at second and third with two outs before Matt Tolbert popped out.
Baltimore took control with four runs in the bottom half. After Jones doubled in two runs, Wieters hit a drive into the center-field bleachers. Wieters is 6 for 6 with 10 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
Guerrero connected in the third for a 5-1 lead.
Valencia came through with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth and added a two-out RBI single off Uehara in the eighth.
NOTES: Baltimore’s Nick Markakis broke a 1-for-21 skid with a third-inning single. … Valencia is 10 for 21 lifetime against Baltimore. … Minnesota’s Jim Thome went 0 for 2 with two walks, lowering his batting average to .163. … Baltimore has won two of three in the series that concludes Thursday, meaning the Twins have gone six series this year without winning one.
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