Twins 3, Orioles 2

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BALTIMORE (AP)—Mike Hargrove had two words to describe the Baltimore debut of Damian Moss: “As advertised.”

Moss turned in a performance that the departed Sidney Ponson would have had difficulty matching: 6 2-3 innings, six hits, one earned run.

But the Minnesota Twins scored two sixth-inning runs on a throwing error by Brian Roberts and escaped with a 3-2 victory Monday night.

Brad Radke (8-9) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, and Eddie Guardado got three outs for his 100th career save—and 25th this season.

Moss ranked second on the San Francisco Giants in wins and innings pitched before coming to the Orioles with two other pitchers last Thursday for Ponson, a 14-game winner this year.

The left-hander gave up a home run to Doug Mientkiewicz on his ninth pitch of the game, then settled down.

“I thought he did outstanding, he really did,” Hargrove said. “He kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win.”

But Moss (0-1) was done in by a lack of run support and a costly miscue that put the Twins ahead to stay.

Minnesota snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth. A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out for Jacque Jones, who grounded into a force play at the plate. A.J. Pierzynski then hit a slow roller to the right side that twisted around Moss, who fell on the mound.

Roberts charged forward from second base and snagged the ball but threw wide of first, allowing two unearned runs to score.

“It’s just a tough play, and it didn’t work in our favor,” said Moss, who thought he had a shot at the ball before slipping.

“They made a mistake, we capitalized on it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We got a little bit of a break there.”

Moss was gone by the next inning. He left to a nice ovation from the crowd of 24,077.

“I’m pretty happy with the way I pitched,” he said. “My main goal is to put up as many quality starts as I can. As long as I go out there and throw quality starts, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

The Orioles closed to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Luis Matos hit a leadoff double and scored on a groundout by Jay Gibbons.

Baltimore put a runner in scoring position in the seventh and eighth, but LaTroy Hawkins retired the side with the Twins’ lead intact.

Guardado encountered little difficulty in becoming the fourth Twins pitcher to reach 100 saves. Rick Aguilera tops the list with 254.

“The bullpen came in and did great,” Gardenhire said, “but the story was our starting pitching.”

Radke’s last two wins have come against the Orioles, who are without injured starters Melvin Mora, David Segui, B.J. Surhoff and Marty Cordova.

“I know in the past they’ve given me some fits, but Mora’s out, Segui’s out. They have some good sticks that aren’t in the lineup, which makes it a little easier—but not much,” Radke said. “That’s a pretty good hitting club over there.”

After Mientkiewicz homered in the first, Corey Koskie followed with a double before Moss retired 10 of his next 11 batters.

Gibbons tied it in the fourth, leading off with his 18th homer.

Notes

Gibbons has hit in seven straight games, going 14-for-28 with three homers and seven RBIs. … Radke has won three straight decisions. … Moss was 9-7 with a 4.70 ERA for the Giants this season. … Matos had his ninth three-hit game of the year. … Minnesota’s Shannon Stewart and Cristian Guzmanhad their nine-game hitting streaks snapped.

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