BALTIMORE (AP) — Some rallies consist of line drives and long balls. Others are built around flares and fortunate bounces.
The Minnesota Twins crafted a comeback of the latter variety against the Baltimore Orioles in a 4-3 victory Friday night.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Huge Hail Chunks Batter Southeastern Communities; Brush Fire Risk Intensifies Friday
Kurt Suzuki blooped a two-run single in the eighth inning to cap an uprising against All-Star reliever Darren O’Day that Twins manager Paul Molitor conceded was “a little bit lucky.”
Baltimore was 51-1 when leading after seven innings, and O’Day (5-2) entered with a 1.15 ERA and a run of 11 straight scoreless appearances.
A walk, a pop single down the right-field line that barely landed fair and Torii Hunter getting hit by a pitch loaded the bases for Eddie Rosario, who delivered a fly to right. Gerardo Parra fired the ball to third base too late, and all three runners advanced.
Suzuki followed with a flare past the drawn-up infield.
“The rally was a little bit ugly — we got a couple bloops, a hit batsmen and some good base running,” Molitor said. “They’ve got people who can shut you down. We just battled and some of the breaks went our way.”
O’Day conceded that some of the mess was his own doing — but not all of it.
“If you really go back and examine the inning, there’s a lot of little things that went wrong. The walk is probably the thing I’m most frustrated about,” he said. “Those bounces go my way usually, but didn’t tonight.”
Casey Fien (3-5) worked 1 2/3 innings, Trevor May pitched the eighth and Kevin Jepsen struck out the side for his sixth save, the first since coming to Minnesota from Tampa Bay in a July 31 trade.
Seeking their first win in five tries against the Twins this season, the Orioles used a three-run homer from Parra to take a 3-1 lead. But it wasn’t enough to prevent Baltimore from absorbing its third loss in four games.
“The baseball gods aren’t always kind to you,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You wear it and try to come back and know tomorrow you have a chance to have a different feeling.
Minnesota has won six in a row against the Orioles dating back to last year. Both teams are chasing the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card.
“It’s a big victory because we’re playing a team that’s pretty good and they’re ahead of us right now, and we’re trying to get in that wild card,” Hunter said.
Wei-Yin Chen allowed one run and seven hits in six innings for Baltimore. He was poised to win his fourth straight decision before the usually sound Orioles bullpen let the lead slip away.READ MORE: Mpls. City Council President Lisa Bender On Costly Police Misconduct Settlements: 'This Is A Whole System Problem'
After giving up a single to Adam Jones and walk to Chris Davis in the first inning, Minnesota’s Tommy Milone retired 13 in a row before Nolan Reimold singled leading off the sixth. Manny Machado also singled before Parra hit a drive over the right-field wall.
In 19 games since coming to the Orioles in a trade with Milwaukee on July 31, Parra is hitting .284 with five homers and has scored 17 runs.
Minnesota went up 1-0 in the fourth when No. 9 hitter Eduardo Nunez worked out of an 0-2 count to draw a walk with the bases loaded and two outs. Chen avoided further damage by retiring Byron Buxton on a grounder.
After the games, the Twins announced they have acquired left-handed reliever Neal Cotts from Milwaukee for a player to be named or cash.
Cotts, 35, signed a one-year $3 million contract with Milwaukee in January. He’s 1-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 50 games this season. He’s 21-24 over 10 seasons, including stints with the White Sox, Cubs and Rangers.
Twins: Closer Glen Perkins will throw a side session Saturday, three days after receiving a cortisone injection in his ailing neck. If all goes well, the lefty could return to the bullpen for the Twins’ series opener at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Orioles: OF-1B Steve Pearce (strained left oblique) will begin a rehabilitation assignment Saturday with Double-A Bowie. He will play Sunday, too, and could come off the DL early next week.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (8-9, 3.99 ERA) makes his third career start against the Orioles on Saturday night. He beat Baltimore on July 7, allowing two runs in six innings.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (9-7, 4.54) has won seven straight decisions since May 31 but is 0-3 lifetime against Minnesota.
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