Orioles 7, Twins 5
Hawkins threw a wild pitch on a 3-2 count to allow the go-ahead run to score, and the Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 7-5 on Tuesday night.
“The thing is, the run came in and I didn’t care how,” Gibbons said. “It was a fun at-bat when it ended.”
Gibbons—who came in 1-for-20 with one RBI in his career against the Twins—hit his two-run shot in the first and added a run-scoring single in the sixth. Tony Batista also hit a home run for Baltimore, which improved to 3-3 on its eight-game, nine-day road trip and took the first of a three-game series at Minnesota.
Hector Carrasco (1-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings, allowing two hits and one run. Carrasco earned his first win since Oct. 4, 2001—when he played for the Twins.
“It feels great facing my old teammates,” Carrasco said. “I was so excited about this game.”
Jorge Julio worked the ninth for his 24th save.
Luis Rivas, 2-for-4 with three RBIs, hit a two-run homer in the third for the Twins, who lost their third straight and failed to gain ground on Kansas City in the AL Central. The Twins remained 6 1/2 games behind the Royals, who lost to Chicago.
Michael Restovich, in his first game since being recalled Monday from Triple-A Rochester, went 2-for-4 with a double for Minnesota. The highly touted prospect scored a run in the seventh to make it 5-5.
But Jeff Conine, who started for the injured B.J. Surhoff, scored on Hawkins’ wild pitch in the eighth for the go-ahead run. Hawkins (8-3) had a long battle with Gibbons, and threw a low, inside pitch that bounced away from the plate and allowed Conine to score from third.
“I don’t even know how to describe that one,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Orioles starter Rick Helling allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, and lowered his ERA to 6.99 in 12 road starts.
The Orioles jumped on Twins starter Johan Santana early. Conine hit a one-out double to score Luis Matos in the first. Two batters later, Gibbons hit his two-run shot to left-center to put Baltimore up 3-0, bringing some boos from the crowd.
Santana still has yet to win a start since being promoted from the bullpen earlier this month. He won his three earlier starts this season, but so far hasn’t provided the spark to the rotation the coaching staff hoped for.
“The last couple games, it feels like every time they hit the ball, they hit it out of the park,” Santana said.
He left up a fastball to Gibbons in the first.
“My approach was to be as short as possible, shorten my stride and just try to put it in play and hit a line drive,” Gibbons said. “Look what happened— a home run.”
Rivas brought the crowd back to life in the third with his 401-foot, two-run shot to left-center pull Minnesota to 3-2.
Rivas made it 4-all in the fifth with a run-scoring single that brought home Chris Gomez.
Gibbons’ single in the sixth scored Matos to put Baltimore up 5-4. The Twins answered in the seventh after Cristian Guzman singled to score Restovich.
But Hawkins’ wild pitch put Baltimore ahead to stay.
“It was a big at-bat,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. “To lay off a 3-2 curve was pretty good.”
Said Gardenhire: “Disappointing loss. We kept coming back and getting back into the game. … We just shoot ourselves in the foot a thousand differentways.”
The Orioles are 24-9 against the Twins at the Metrodome and 47-17 overall since 1996. They haven’t lost a season series to Minnesota since 1995. … Baltimore has outscored their opponents 125-88 in the first two innings this season. … Twins OF Shannon Stewart made his first start in left field for the Twins. He made an impressive out in the fourth, running down a pop foulagainst the wall. … Matos is 4-for-25 on Baltimore’s road trip.