Twins fall to Baltimore by a run
The Orioles (78-56) have won three in a row and extended their American League East lead over the New York Yankees to eight games as Toronto beat New York 2-0 earlier Saturday.
Minnesota (59-76) had just tied the game in the seventh on designated hitter Joe Mauer’s RBI single off Andrew Miller. The left-hander gave up one more hit in the inning but struck out the side to set up the winning rally.
Center fielder Jones started it when right-hander Jared Burton (2-3) hit him with one out. Left fielder Nelson Cruz then moved him to third with a single before Davis, who hit a game-breaking grand slam Friday night, came up.
Davis, the first baseman, hit a soft fly ball to shallow center, but Jones didn’t blink or hesitate. He took off and never slid as center fielder Danny Santana’s throw home wasn’t close.
Miller (5-5) earned the win with his inning of relief. The Orioles’ bullpen hadn’t given up a run in the last 19 innings until right-hander Tommy Hunter allowed a single to second baseman Brian Dozier to start the seventh inning and Mauer drove in Dozier.
Darren O’Day came on for the Orioles to take care of the eighth, and Zach Britton closed it in the ninth for his 30th save. He became the 10th Oriole to reach that mark in a season.
Third baseman Jimmy Paredes knocked in the first two Baltimore runs in his first start with the Orioles. He had an RBI double in the fourth and a solo homer in the sixth. That gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead before Mauer’s hit.
The Twins threatened several times early against Orioles starter Chris Tillman but couldn’t come up with the big hit. They left runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings, three times stranding people at third.
Baltimore also wasted some good early scoring chances against Twins starter Kyle Gibson, although the Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the fourth thanks to Parades’ ground-rule double.
Davis walked to start the inning and moved to second on shortstop J.J. Hardy’s single. Paredes then sent a shot over the head of center fielder Santana. The Twins got a break because the ball hopped over the fence and left runners at second and third with no outs, and Gibson retired the next three batters.
Minnesota pushed Tillman again in the fifth and tied it. Mauer drew a one-out walk and went to third on a single from first baseman Kennys Vargas.
Right fielder Oswaldo Arcia followed with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 1-1.