The Orioles head into Minnesota to face the Twins for the second and last time this season. After taking two out of three from Oakland, the O’s looked to continue their winning ways against the 8-23 Minnesota Twins.
Game One: Postponed
The first game of this series was postponed due to rain and will be made up on July 28th. The pitching matchup was supposed to be Tyler Wilson vs. Jose Berrios. Berrios would start on Tuesday but Wilson’s start was pushed back to Wednesday.
Game Two: Orioles: 5, Twins: 3
The glimmer of happiness on a night where I saw my beloved Washington Capitals eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins…again, the Orioles pulled out a clutch win to open up the series against the Twins.
Kevin Gausman went to the mound for the Orioles and pitched very well despite allowing a two run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Gausman went six innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out nine and walking only two. His appearance was followed by Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton who combined only allowed one base runner.
Matt Wieters got the Orioles offense started in the top of the fourth with an RBI single to score Mark Trumbo. This was followed up by back to back solo home runs by Manny Machado and Adam Jones in the fifth.
However, as I mentioned earlier, the Twins tied up the game in the bottom of the sixth with a two run home run by Oriole killer Trevor Plouffe. Side note, I always have to check three times to make sure I spelled “Plouffe” correctly.
Luckily for the Orioles, Adam Jones came through in the clutch in the top of the ninth inning with a two run single that scored Joey Rickard and Manny Machado. Rickard started this rally with a two out double into left field on a 3-2 count followed by an intentional walk allowed to Machado. A wild pitch sent the runners up a base and allowed them both to score on the single by Jones.
Game Three: Orioles: 9, Twins: 2
The Orioles continued their offensive hot streak into the final game in the series before heading back home. Mark Trumbo got things going in the top of the second with a two run home run, his 10th of the season.
Chris Davis joined the party in the top of the fourth with his ninth of the season, scoring Adam Jones as well. This was followed by another Trumbo home run, his 11th, to make it 5-1 O’s at the time.
Later in the game, Davis got an RBI double to left field that scored Adam Jones, who had four hits himself in the game. Davis would pick up his fourth RBI of the game on a fielder’s choice ground ball that would allow Joey Rickard to score, making it 7-2.
Adam Jones wrapped up the offensive barrage with a two run home run of his own, making it 9-2. If anyone is still concerned about Adam Jones possibly not being healthy, there is no need to worry anymore.
As for the pitching, Tyler Wilson followed up Kevin Gausman’s performance perfectly. Wilson went seven innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out two and walking only one. His outing was followed by Mychal Givens and Brian Matusz each racking up scoring innings for themselves.
While the Twins have struggled heavily this season so far, the Orioles not taking them lightly as an opponent speaks volumes about this team so far in the 2016 season. After going 0-7 against the Twins last season, it is very refreshing to see them come out and dominate them this season with one more game set to be played between the two teams.
The Orioles now head back home to face the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners, both for the first time this season.
Ubaldo Jimenez will open up the series against the Tigers, who have yet to announce their starter for the game on Thursday. Chris Tillman will go up against Justin Verlander in the second game of the series with Mike Wright and Anibal Sanchez facing off in the third game. Neither team has announced a starter for the fourth game.