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Orioles 3, Twins 2: RISPiratory failure

Oh, I get it.

Patrick Smith

The Twins and Orioles were both awful with runners in scoring position last night, going a combined 2-for-21. Minnesota was 1-for-12, and Baltimore won, so the Orioles luck out and get away with their terrible performance. The Twins offense didn't play well enough to win, even if the pitching was on point.

We knew that Kyle Gibson would need to bring his A Game to play with the streaking Chris Tillman, and to be fair, he kind of did. Neither pitcher went past five innings, both pitchers struck out six and walked three, and both pitchers allowed a solitary run. For the up and down Gibson to go pitch-for-pitch with one of the American League's best surprises, you have to come away from last night's start feeling good about Gibson once again.

But the Twins wasted a plethora of scoring opportunities, and that's the name of the game.

  • Danny Santana singled and Brian Dozier walked to lead off the game. Stranded.
  • Kurt Suzuki doubled with one out in the second. Stranded.
  • Santana singled and Dozier walked in the second; but Santana was caught stealing second and so when Kennys Vargas singled later in the inning nobody came in to score. Another runner in scoring position stranded.
  • Trevor Plouffe singles and Suzuki reaches on a botched and challenged force attempt in the fourth, with nobody out. Stranded.
  • A Joe Mauer walk, Vargas single, and Oswaldo Acia sac fly brought home Mauer in the fifth to tie the game at one...but still no hit with a runner in scoring position.
  • Dozier singled to lead off the seventh, moved up to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Mauer single. This was Minnesota's only hit with runners in scoring position.
I feel I'm making my point. All while repeatedly slamming my forehead into my hotel desk.

There was a scary moment in the bottom of the fourth, when Nick Markakis fouled a pitch under Suzuki's mask. Suzuki went down in a heap and was clearly shaken up, and the game stopped for a few minutes while everyone checked him out. If you didn't have a moment of "This is why the Twins took Mauer out from behind the plate," followed by a pang of guilt because, y'know, there was actually a guy lying hurt on the field, well then you're a better person than I.

The good news is that Suzuki was able to keep playing. It wasn't a knock to the head, but the ball seemed to almost catch him in the throat.

Baltimore's winning run ultimately came in the bottom of the seventh, just after Mauer's single tied the game at two.
Jared Burton hit Adam Jones with one away, who moved up to third when Nelson Cruz singled on the very next pitch. Chris Davis then lofted a shallow ball into the left-center field gap. Santana ran like hell and got there in the end, but he wasn't under full control and was running at such an acute angle that, even if he'd gotten the ball out of his glove cleanly, would have still had trouble getting Jones at home on the tag up.

Our Twins now have 59 wins after 135 games. That's the same record they had last year at this time, it's four games better than they were in 2012, three games better than in 2011, and if you really want to kick yourself in the privates this early on a Sunday morning it's 19 games worse than they were in 2010.

We'll see you back here for the game in a couple hours.


Kyle Gibson