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Twins 6, Orioles 1: Five home runs, guess by which team

This is so weird, I still am not sure I believe it, but I’m starting to like it.

Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins
In this photo, Nelson Cruz looks 28. On his BRef profile photo, he looks 48. He’s 38. Go figure.
Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

When the Twins faced Baltimore starter Alex Cobb last Saturday, the score was 0-0 until Nelson Cruz launched a two-run homer. The score was 0-0 today until Cruz came up in the first, with two outs. STROKED. 1-0.

Followed by Eddie Rosario. LONG. 2-0.

Next up, C.J. Cron. DONG. 3-0.

Cobb (in the second year of a four-year deal, BTW) hasn’t been the same since TJ surgery in 2015, and the Twins took advantage of his struggles tonight. Max Kepler also banged one off him, and Marwin Gonzalez would not-RBI Rosario home on a Baltimore error.

That error. These Orioles. Let’s run down how snakebit that team is with one specific inning recap, shall we? An early chance to get back in the game.

Down 4-0, Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini led off the fourth with singles. Renato Nunez popped up near first, and the umps called “infield fly rule.” This means the batter is automatically out, so that fielders won’t intentionally drop easy flies to double up runners holding on base. The ball drifted into foul territory, and Cron lost it in the sunset. (Or the lights. Or a passing seagull. I don’t know. Whatever, he couldn’t catch it.) Instead of being automatically out, Nunez was still alive, since the ball landed foul. Next pitch? He promptly grounds into a double play. Then Twins starter Martin Perez hits a guy. Then strikes out Joey Rickard. End of inning.

Next time you’re annoyed with the Twins leaving runners on base, consider how truly frustrating that inning must have been for the poor Orioles fans out there.

Perez relied heavily on an 88-ish cutter inside to righthanders, using the straight fastball and changeup only to throw their timing off. This may not work against better offensive teams. It worked tonight. 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

Welcome back, Matt Magill! In his first outing this season, the journeyman (he really is) somehow managed to allow a ground-rule double and two walks without any runs scoring, thanks to timely fire extinguishing from Trevor May. Again, the Orioles are pretty unlucky right now. Ryne Harper pitched a nice quiet inning, and Fernando Romero a “cake fail which still has sugar in it” scoreless ninth.

(Cruz hit another homer later in the game, just so you know. As kenzertz pointed out, four of Cruz’s five this season are against the Orioles.)

Great work by all on the comments, but best goes to gintzer for observing that this was officially “An Evening With La Tortuga At Target Field” and he wasn’t even in the starting lineup. Baldelli pinch hit Astudillo for Cron to lead off the eighth, the crowd went wild, and La Tortuga struck out. Just kidding, he drew a walk. Just kidding, he singled. What else would you expect?

Robot Roll Call:

Catch y’all tomorrow! After the rain/slush delay, maybe! Hopefully not after either!