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Twins Strike Late To Beat Orioles 6-5

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The game was back and forth for the first 5 innings, then the offenses fell silent until Justin Morneau brought home Aaron Hicks with a single in the 9th inning to give the Twins the lead that they would not relinquish.

It wasn't much, but Justin Morneau's dribbling single into center field in the 9th was the difference maker last night.
It wasn't much, but Justin Morneau's dribbling single into center field in the 9th was the difference maker last night.
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins have had an impressive run of being competitive in all of their games thus far this season, and that trend continued on Saturday night. The teams went back and forth to start the game, and then were knotted at 5 from the 5th inning until the 9th, when Justin Morneau had a go-ahead RBI single against Orioles closer Jim Johnson.

The Orioles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Twins starter Vance Worley, when Adam Jones chopped a weak grounder down the 3rd base line with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Worley was the first to get to the ball and didn't have a chance of getting Jones at 1st base, but he threw anyway and his wild throw got past Justin Morneau just enough to let a second runner score.

The Twins got one back in the top of the 2nd on a Brian Dozier sacrifice fly, and then took the lead in the 3rd by putting up 4 runs against Orioles starter Chris Tillman. After a Josh Willingham walk and Justin Morneau single with one out, Ryan Doumit pulled an RBI single just past first baseman Chris Davis to tie the score. Trevor Plouffe then put the Twins ahead with a sacrifice fly, though it easily could have gone for extra bases if not for a fantastic running catch by center fielder Adam Jones. Chris Parmelee then capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run homer over the scoreboard in right field.

Worley attempted to hold the lead, but he just wasn't sharp enough tonight. He gave a run back in the bottom of the 3rd on an RBI single by the red-hot Chris Davis, and then Jones came through with a two-run single in the 5th. The teams would then trade zeros thanks to some great pitching by Twins middle reliever Josh Roenicke (3 IP, 0 R) and Orioles relievers T.J. McFarland (3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 5 K) and Darren O'Day (1 IP, 0 R) until Morneau's single in the 9th inning plated Aaron Hicks from 2nd base.

WP: Josh Roenicke (1-0)

LP: Jim Johnson (0-1)

S: Glen Perkins (2)

Studs

Justin Morneau (3 for 5, game-winning RBI single, 2 runs), Ryan Doumit (2 for 5, 1 RBI, 1 R), Chris Parmelee (2 for 3, BB, HR, 2 RBI), Josh Roenicke (3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K)

Duds

Aaron Hicks (0 for 5, 2 K), Vance Worley (5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K)