BALTIMORE (AP) — The Minnesota Twins had some key hits, got effective pitching and made several big defensive plays. They also capitalized on Baltimore’s mistakes.
Trevor Plouffe hit a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Twins took advantage of two errors in the 12th to beat the Orioles 4-3 Sunday for a four-game sweep.
Minnesota has won eight straight against Baltimore dating to last season.
“We have shown resiliency which is a good thing,” said Minnesota manager Paul Molitor, who was ejected in the ninth for arguing a strike out by Miguel Sano. “We find a way to win day to day we don’t get too very far ahead of ourselves and we don’t carry too many bad losses with us for too long.”
All-Star third baseman Manny Machado moved to shortstop for the first time in his major league career in the 12th and misplayed a grounder by Eduardo Escobar, who slid in safely to second. It was Machado’s second error of the game.
Third baseman Jimmy Paredes then could not handle a sharp grounder by Shane Robinson that allowed Escobar to score.
“I see the third baseman miss the ball and I see Machado miss the ball too,” Escobar said. “I hear, ‘keep going, keep going, keep going.'”
Glen Perkins (2-4), who had been dealing with a bulging disc and hadn’t pitched since Aug. 17, picked up the win. Tommy Milone got his first career save.
Brian Matusz (1-3) took the loss after Zach Britton blew his third save by allowing Plouffe’s tying single in the ninth.
“We lost four, so obviously where we are right now, we want to play better and win some of these games, especially these one-run games where we feel normally we have a good shot and we pull those out,” Britton said. “So, (it’s) frustrating.”
After allowing a two run-homer to Sano in the first, Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman retired 17 straight batters. Gausman gave up two runs and three hits over seven innings and tied a career best with eight strikeouts.
Adam Jones and Schoop each had three hits for the Orioles.
Twins starter Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Baltimore had gone 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position against Pelfrey before Schoop delivered an RBI single in the third that cut the lead to 2-1.
After Jones singled and Steve Clevenger hit a ground-rule double two innings later, Schoop delivered again with another single that gave Baltimore a 3-2 lead that ended Pelfrey’s day.
“We had some opportunities we didn’t cash in on,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Uncharacteristically had some errors at the end that cost us. There’s a lot of things you can critique and break down, but we just didn’t push over enough runs.”
The Twins went 15 2/3 innings without allowing a run over the series. Minnesota won three of the four games by one run.
Twins: Blaine Boyer (right elbow inflammation) is eligible to come off the DL on Monday against the Rays, but he may need a rehab appearance. “We’ll have to make a decision whether we want to get him down to Tampa or see if he needs to go out and pitch in a game to be sure,” Molitor said.
Orioles: Steve Pearce (left oblique strain) had a double and played nine innings in his rehab start for Double-A Bowie. He could rejoin the Orioles in Kansas City.
Twins: Ervin Santana (2-4, 5.53) starts Tuesday in Tampa Bay looking to bounce back from his recent struggles. He has gone 0-4 with an 8.46 ERA in his past five starts, allowing seven homers over that stretch.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (9-7, 3.97 ERA) is looking to go deeper into the game when he faces the Royals in the series opener. He has lasted through the sixth inning in two of his past eight starts.
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