Right-hander Jose Berrios is on the mound as the Minnesota Twins try to build on a couple of impressive winning streaks against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
The Twins, who rallied for six runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull out an 8-3 victory in Monday night’s series opener, have won 13 in a row over Baltimore dating back to March 31, 2018.
Berrios (4-2, 3.91 ERA), who will be making his seventh career start against the Orioles, has won his last five starts against Baltimore including a three-hit, complete-game shutout on April 1, 2018. He is 5-0 with a 3.52 ERA in his career against the Birds.
Baltimore brings a seven-game losing streak into the contest.
The Orioles counter with right-hander Dean Kremer (0-4, 6.35). He is making his first career start against the Twins and looking for his first win in nine starts this season.
The Orioles looked like they might finally snap their long losing skid against the Twins on Monday night when left fielder DJ Stewart hit a two-run homer off reliever Jorge Alcala in the top of the eighth to give Baltimore a 3-2 lead.
But Minnesota answered with six runs on seven hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly against Baltimore relievers Tanner Scott, Cesar Valdez and Tyler Wells in the bottom of the eighth to pull out its fourth victory in five games. Mitch Garver led the way with a two-run opposite-field double to give the Twins a 5-3 lead as Minnesota, which sent 12 men to the plate in the inning, scored five runs with two outs.
“That was flat-out awesome to watch,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “Every guy in our lineup went up there and battled. Just grinding the at-bat all the way to the end and making something happen. Trying to find a barrel. Swinging at strikes, taking the tough pitches. That was beautiful.”
The reaction was quite different in the Baltimore locker room afterward after the Orioles lost for the 14th time in 16 games.
“Yeah, it’s real disappointing,” said Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde. “Big homer by DJ to give us the lead. We’re just struggling out of the bullpen. … We need some people to step it up in the pen and get some outs for us.”
The late meltdown wasted another good start by left-hander John Means who allowed only five hits, including solo home runs to Trevor Larnach and Kyle Garlick, over seven innings.
“It was pretty tough but that’s baseball sometimes,” said Means. “Obviously after a loss like that you come in and its pretty quiet. But we approach every day with a lot of energy. We came to the field ready to win and ready to compete. I still think this team is in a good place. … Just can’t get that one win to get us going.”
The Twins can relate. Despite winning four of their past five games, they still are tied for last place in the American League Central with the rebuilding Detroit Tigers and 9 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox.
“We’re building momentum,” said Baldelli. “We’re creating it amongst our group and then carrying it out onto the field and riding it. Going through really good, positive periods of time out on the field, and when we’re in a lull, we find it. You do have to create it. You can’t just wait for things to happen.”
–Field Level Media