Twins fall to BaltimoreMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — J.J. Hardy homered against the team that traded him in the offseason, Zach Britton won for the first time in 10 weeks and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday night.
By: The Associated Press, The Daily Republic
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — J.J. Hardy homered against the team that traded him in the offseason, Zach Britton won for the first time in 10 weeks and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday night.
Matt Wieters also homered, Ryan Adams added an RBI after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and Nick Markakis delivered an RBI double.
Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 18th save.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and third baseman Danny Valencia were ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt in the eighth inning after Valencia struck out.
Hardy broke a 1-all tie in the fifth inning with a line drive home run off Carl Pavano (6-10) that sailed over the left-field wall. Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a play on a foul pop earlier in the at-bat, but couldn’t make the catch when a fan wearing a Mauer jersey in the front row appeared to get in his way.
Britton (7-9) was activated from the disabled list before the game and made his first start since Aug. 4. The 23-year-old lefty allowed one run and six hits over five innings.
Britton walked four and threw 98 pitches, but managed to get the best of Twins designated hitter Jim Thome, the newest member of baseball’s 600-home run club.
Thome failed to drive in a run with the bases loaded twice, flying out to left in the third and watching Britton’s fastball catch the outside corner for strike three in the fifth.
One day after getting shut out by the Yankees, Minnesota managed just a single run on Mauer’s groundout in the third and lost for the 16th time in 21 games.
The Twins could use Hardy’s bat, but they traded the shortstop to Baltimore in the offseason for Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.
Hardy has 24 homers and 60 RBIs, while Hoey posted a 7.71 ERA in 17 games with the Twins early in the season and Jacobson remains in the minors.
Minnesota won just 79 games in 2007, the only season it hasn’t finished above .500 in Gardenhire’s 10 years as manager. To reach 79 wins this season, the Twins will have to win 24 of their final 35 games, and overcome more injuries in the process.
Minnesota used the disabled list for the 23rd time on Monday, placing pitcher Nick Blackburn on the 15-day DL with a right forearm strain.
Justin Morneau did not start for the third straight game because of a bruised foot, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka remains out with lower back soreness.