Orioles Complete Sweep Against Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mark Reynolds hit a three-run homer and Jo Jo Reyes went six strong innings to lead the Orioles to a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, Baltimore’s first four-game winning streak since early June.

Reyes (7-10) allowed one run on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Craig Tatum added a two-run double for the AL-worst Orioles, who haven’t had a winning streak this long since June 6-10.

Anthony Swarzak (3-4) gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 1-3 innings after left-hander Francisco Liriano left with a strained shoulder after two innings.

Joe Mauer also missed his second straight game for the injury-ravaged Twins, with a stiff neck keeping him out.

Vlad Guerrero, Nolan Reimold and Ryan Adams added two hits each for the Orioles, who swept the Twins at home in a four-game series for the first time.

The Twins have looked lifeless on the mound and in the batter’s box for most of the past month, turning Target Field into a place where opposing slumps come to die.

Reynolds and Reyes were the latest beneficiaries. The slugger entered the series on a 6-for-45 (.133) skid with 20 strikeouts. He went 7 for 17 (.412) with two homers and seven RBIs in the four games in Minnesota.

The lefty Reyes once went winless in 28 straight starts, and who had allowed 15 earned runs in his last two outings, breezed through a Twins lineup that has scored one run or less in seven of the last 10 games.

Justin Morneau doubled home Trevor Plouffe to tie the game 1-1 in the third inning, but the Twins left the bases loaded in the fifth and hitters 5-9 in the order went 1 for 17 with a single, three walks and four strikeouts in the game.

It didn’t go any better for Minnesota on the mound.

Liriano walked Robert Andino with the bases loaded in the second inning to fall behind 1-0 and Alex Burnett took his place to start the third.

It’s the third time in the last five days that a Twins starter hasn’t made it out of the third inning. Nick Blackburn left in the second inning because of injury on Sunday against the Yankees and Brian Duensing was knocked out by the Orioles in the third inning on Tuesday night.

The Twins were forced to go to Swarzak, who was scheduled to start the series opener against Detroit on Friday night, in the fourth.

Swarzak gave up a two-run double to Tatum in the sixth inning to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead and left after Reynolds’ three-run shot in the seventh made it 6-1.

NOTES: Orioles OF Adam Jones missed the game with soreness that likely stemmed from the illness that caused him to miss Tuesday night’s game. … Orioles CF Matt Angle had a bunt single in the fifth for his first career major league hit. He started his career 0 for 13 before the base hit. … After getting hit by a pitch on the left wrist on Tuesday night, an MRI revealed no broken bones for Twins RF Michael Cuddyer. He played and went 1 for 4. … RHP Tommy Hunter starts for the Orioles on Friday in their series opener against the Yankees at Camden Yards. Hunter (2-2, 4.95) has made two home starts for the O’s this year, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He’ll face RHP A.J. Burnett (9-10, 4.96). … The Twins continue their home stand with a series against the AL Central-leading Tigers. With Swarzak rushed into emergency duty on Thursday, it was not immediately clear who would get the start against Detroit’s Rick Porcello.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Al

    Fire Gardenhoser.

    • The Shat

      Where can I get a refund for games I’ve attended? I’ve bought tickets under the impression that the team would at least try to win games. These last few outings have been beyond pathetic. I understand there isn’t much to play for anymore this year, but talk about getting robbed if you bought a ticket.

  • KeepItReal

    How do Henn County tax payers feel now? 1 good season in the new golden-park and now the twinx are headed back to the basement for years to come.

  • Nick

    For all of you who continue to flood these comment sections, Facebook, Twitter and otherwise with this moronic “Fire Gardenhire” rants you need to get a grip. Gardy carries very, very little blame in any of how this season has played out. With Cuddy’s injury last night the Twins have now seen EVERY starter spend time on the DL or at least be unable to play due to injury this season. The Twins have spent the entire season carrying a minor-league laden line-up and even still rattled off an impressive, improbably streak of wins mid-season. If you don’t understand the game, don’t bother making comments… it makes you look like a dolt. If there is anyone deserving of any finger pointing and hot seat it is Bill Smith. His personnel decisions have been questionable (at best) the last 3 seasons and I, for one, would have a hard time watching him steer the ship for much longer.

    • Jim

      I agree completely. Bill Smith has done a terrible job and it’s time for a change. I can’t think of a single move the team has made since Smith took over that has worked out well. Not one.

      • Al

        That includes the move to keep gardenhoser.

        • Jim

          Except for the fact that Gardenhire was named the 2010 AL Manager of the Year. That seemed to work out pretty well. But I’m sure you know more about managing pro baseball teams than the Baseball Writers Association. That makes a lot of sense.

    • Take your head out of your back side.

      Have you ever worked in a real job? Ever heard the phrase “The buck stops here?”

      Gardenhoser’s job is to run the show. He’s right there to take credit for wins but he’s got every excuse in the book for the losses.

      Of course he’s not solely to blame for the miserable season. But he’s the boss and his job is to win. If he can’t do the job, it’s time for him to move on.

  • Kent

    One of the biggest collapses I have seen in my life.
    Things happen..But Bill Smith really has had a bad 24 months. Time for a change?

    • Me

      Yeah, I’d go this route rather than Gardenhire. When Gardenhire starting getting results from ordinary players back in ’01, ’02, etc people set their expectations to high. We can’t do well every year. Getting rid of Delmon is an improvement.

  • Reality? Check!

    Ugh, we’ve traded Thome to the Indians. Love you, Thome! Thanks for the excitement you brought to MN.

  • The Shat

    Gardenhire deserves plenty of blame. His managerial skills have been somewhat suspect over the years. I will give him some benefit of the doubt of doing as much as he could with the tools he’s been given, but some of his in-game moves have been ludicrous. But for every ounce of blame Gardy gets, Billy Smith should get a pound. My buddy, who may be the biggest Twins fan around, says Smith has just been unlucky. My response to that is that bad luck has cost many people their jobs over the years, and this shouldn’t be any different. In fact, if you were at Game 1 of this Orioles series, you may have seen me with the “Fire Billy Smith” grocery bag on my head. Time for a change with this team, from the top (Smith) all the way to the bottom (Buterrible).

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