Twins beat bumbling Orioles 5-2
Bonser pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to earn his first win since June 10, and the Minnesota Twins scored three unearned runs in a 5-2 victory Thursday night.
“I’m not so sure if they won or we lost,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “They got the hits at the end there, but it was after the horse was out of the barn, so to speak.”
One night after permitting a major league-record 39 runs in a doubleheader loss to Texas—including an AL-record 30 in the first game—the Orioles found a different way to lose.
Steve Trachsel (6-8) took a three-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning, but the Twins capitalized on three walks and two errors to score four runs.
Nick Punto beat out a bunt single and went to second on a groundout before Jason Bartlett walked, the fourth ball a wild pitch that enabled Punto to move to third. Joe Mauer hit an RBI groundout off Jamie Walker, and Torii Hunter received an intentional walk.
Trying to pick off Bartlett at second base, catcher Ramon Hernandez threw wildly, allowing the runners to advance to second and third on the error. Justin Morneau walked to load the bases for Michael Cuddyer, who hit a grounder to shortstop that Miguel Tejada fumbled for an error while Bartlett scored the go-ahead run.
“They gave us an extra out and we did what we had to do with that extra out,” Punto said.
“They made the one mistake when they booted the ball and we capitalized on it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Bartlett added an RBI triple in the ninth.
Bonser (6-10) allowed one run, struck out two and walked three. He was 0-8 in his previous 12 starts.
“Bonser’s been battling for a long time now. He’s given us a lot of good performances,” Gardenhire said. “Tonight the boys picked him up at the end.”
Often hurt by a lack of run support, Bonser trailed 1-0 for much of the game after giving up a second-inning solo homer to Aubrey Huff. As the game wore on, Bonser couldn’t help from getting a familiar sinking feeling.
“I’ve seen it happen before, so I pretty much try to keep the team in the game and hope for the best,” he said. “I finally got a break there I’ve been hoping for.”
Bonser started the season 5-2, then endured a stretch in which he simply couldn’t add another notch in the win column.
“I didn’t worry about it. I knew eventually I’d get a win,” he said.
Matt Guerrier pitched two innings to earn his first save. He allowed a solo homer to Tejada in the ninth.
It was the third straight loss for the Orioles—all since the team announced that Trembley would return next season.
Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar set a club record by reaching via a hit, walk or hit by pitch in his 50th consecutive game. Millar, who broke the mark set by Ken Singleton in 1977, began his streak on June 20.
“The streak has been fun. Hopefully I can keep it going,” Millar said. “I love streaks, but not getting a win tonight was tough.”
Huff put the Orioles ahead 1-0 with his 12th home run, a drive to center on a 3-2 pitch. Despite that mistake, Bonser retired 12 of his first 13 batters until walking Millar to open the fifth. The right-hander then got three straight outs.
Trachsel was even more impressive. Hunter hit a leadoff double in the second but failed to advance, and Bartlett’s fourth-inning single was the Twins’ only other hit through the first six innings.
Minnesota got multiple runners on base for the first time in the seventh.
Orioles introduced top draft pick Matt Wieters to the crowd after the fourth inning. Wieters, the fifth overall pick, signed last week. … Morneau endured a 28th consecutive game without hitting a homer, the longest drought of his career. … Baltimore’s Melvin Mora hit into his 18th double play, taking over the team lead from Tejada.