MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Pelfrey took the mound for Minnesota in the sixth inning with a 6-0 lead, realizing his off-speed pitches weren’t working very well on a night when his body felt flat.
The right-hander had one hope of hanging on to beat Baltimore: “Let’s pound that sinker and get through six,” Pelfrey told himself.
Pelfrey finished the inning, but the damage had begun. Manny Machado’s tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run 10th inning lifted the Orioles to a 9-6 victory over the Twins on Friday night after Pelfrey gave up three runs in the sixth and reliever Josh Roenicke allowed three more in the seventh.
“Maybe after my last start, I kind of got spoiled,” Pelfrey said. “Maybe I kind of expected to have that kind of stuff every time out. But it was far from it.”
Pelfrey’s first season with the Twins has started slowly. His ERA dropped a bit to 6.03. But his last turn was his best yet, with one run given up in six innings at Cleveland. This time, despite the five shutout innings to start the night, he didn’t have the same command.
“The thing that kept me in the ballgame and allowed me to go as far as I did was my sinker,” Pelfrey said, adding: “But unfortunately I think they made an adjustment and started taking the ball the other way. Earlier they were trying to pull those sinkers.”
Pelfrey gave up four doubles in the sixth. He allowed nine hits and one walk while striking out one.
Machado — who stayed in the game after fouling a ball off his ankle in the fifth — rolled a single into right field that drove in Chris Dickerson and broke a 6-all tie in the 10th against Anthony Swarzak (1-1). Nick Markakis added a sacrifice fly and Adam Jones an RBI double to cap the scoring.
Asked what wasn’t working for him, Swarzak paused for a second.
“Couldn’t get ’em to hit the ball at anybody,” he said.
After a long road trip and an early-morning arrival from Boston, the Twins had only four relievers available for use. Brian Duensing and Ryan Pressly were held out for rest. Closer Glen Perkins has soreness in his left side.
“Frustrating, because you have a big lead like that, but we’re pretty thin out there in the bullpen, not being able to use some people,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “So we had to go with what we had, and it just didn’t work out.”
Tommy Hunter (3-1) didn’t allow a run in 2 1-3 innings to pick up the victory for the Orioles. Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th for his 35th consecutive save — dating back to last season — to set a franchise record.
Roenicke started the seventh and allowed three runs and four hits and only recorded one out. Chris Davis’s double off the scoreboard wall in right-center field scored Markakis and made it 6-6. The Orioles hit six doubles in a 12-batter span between the sixth and seventh innings.
Markakis started the barrage with a leadoff double in the sixth and finished with two hits and two RBIs. Adam Jones and Davis each had three hits for Baltimore.
“That’s a heck of a baseball team over there, and they can run some hitters up there. They can ambush you. They got some big, clutch hits. That’s kind of what they’re known for,” Gardenhire said.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel allowed six runs over four innings and failed to win on the road for the first time this season.
Joe Mauer had three hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who had won four of their previous five.
NOTES: Twins SS Pedro Florimon, who left Thursday’s game in the bottom of the seventh inning because of a tight right hamstring, was not in the starting lineup but told Gardenhire his leg was feeling better. … Because of the strain on the bullpen, fifth starter Pedro Hernandez will be available in relief if necessary for Saturday’s game. … RHP Steve Johnson will come off the DL to start Saturday in his season debut for the Orioles in place of RHP Miguel Gonzalez, who is out with a blister on his thumb. For the Twins, RH Vance Worley (0-4, 6.95 ERA) will take the mound looking for his first win in 13 starts since last Aug. 1 for the Phillies.
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