Twins avoid four-game sweep with win over Baltimore
BALTIMORE -- Joe Mauer had four RBIs and hit a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
Minnesota avoided being swept in at least a four-game series in Baltimore for the first time in 48 years. The first-place Orioles took a five-game set in July 1966.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes (15-9) put together another effective outing. He allowed three runs (all unearned) on five hits with five strikeouts over eight innings.
Mauer, the Twins designated hitter, had three hits, including a triple in the sixth that scored two runs. Rookie first baseman Kennys Vargas had two hits and two RBIs for Minnesota (60-77). Left-hander Glen Perkins got his 33rd save despite allowing Baltimore designated hitter Nelson Cruz to hit his league-leading 36th home run.
Baltimore rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman (7-7) lost his third straight game. He allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over 7 1/3 innings.
Catcher Nick Hundley got his fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot in the seventh that tied the game at 3-3. First baseman Chris Davis had two hits for the Orioles (79-57)
Minnesota then took a 3-0 lead in the sixth when center fielder Danny Santana and second baseman Brian Dozier had back-to-back singles before Mauer cleared the bases with a triple to left. Vargas then hit a sacrifice fly.
The Orioles rallied in the seventh when a throwing error by Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe helped extend the inning. With runners on the corners, third baseman Jimmy Paredes hit into a fielder's choice for the second out. However, Hundley followed with a homer off Hughes.
Paredes then helped the Twins regain the lead when he failed to handle a sharp grounder by Santana that allowed him to take second and put left fielder Jordan Schafer on third. Left-hander Andrew Miller entered and allowed Mauer to hit a double that scored two runs and a 5-3 lead. Vargas followed with an RBI single to increase the margin.