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Orioles 9, Twins 6 (10)

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins scored early but the Baltimore Orioles scored late on Friday at Target Field, and an RBI single by Manny Machado in the 10th was the difference as Baltimore beat the Twins 9-6 in the opening contest of the three-game series.

In a seesaw battle, the Orioles spotted the Twins six runs in the first five innings, then came roaring back to tie the game two innings later.

In the 10th, the Orioles scored three runs off reliever Anthony Swarzak, who took the loss.

Twins starter Mike Pelfrey blanked the Orioles for five innings in what was one of his best outings of the season to that point. But he returned to the mound for the sixth, and it proved to be one inning too many, as the Orioles' bats finally woke up.

Trailing 6-0 in the sixth inning, the Orioles busted out with four doubles to score three runs (two of the runs coming with two outs) and chased Pelfrey, who was charged with three runs on nine hits.

The hit parade continued in the seventh for Baltimore as Nate McLouth led off the inning with the team's sixth of seven doubles in the game. He scored when Machado bunted and Twins third basemen Trevor Plouffe threw wide of first base. Machado made it to second on the play and scored on a Nick Markakis single.

Chris Davis hit his third double of the game to score Markakis and suddenly the game was tied at six runs apiece.

Orioles T.J. McFarland pitched 2 2/3 strong innings in relief, quieting the Twins bats after starter Jason Hammel gave up the six runs on eight hits and two walks.

Each team had double-digit hits, with the Orioles tapping Twins pitchers for 18 hits while the Twins had 11. But it was the four hits by the Orioles in the extra frame that proved to be the difference.

The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when leadoff batter Jamey Carroll singled up the middle and Joe Mauer followed with his seventh double in the past six games. Carroll scored on Josh Willingham's groundout to third.

The Twins extended their lead in the second with a bases-loaded, two-out single by Mauer that knocked in two runs.

An inning later, the Twins tacked on a run when Justin Morneau led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout to short and then scored on Ryan Doumit's sacrifice fly to deep right.

After striking out the side in the fourth, Hammel began to tire in the fifth, hitting the first batter, walking the second and giving up an RBI single to Trevor Plouffe -- knocking Hammel out of the game. Oswaldo Arcia then grounded to the pitcher, but Morneau scored for a 6-0 Twins lead.

The Orioles threatened in the third with the bases loaded but were unable to score. Pelfrey, who has rarely pitched beyond the fifth inning all season, scattered five hits in five shutout innings.

NOTES: Coming into the game, the Twins have walked just one batter in the previous 24 innings. Their 74 walks as a staff are the fewest in baseball this season. ... The Orioles have been outhit by opponents in each of the last four games but are 3-1 in that stretch. ... The Twins have committed just one error in their past 12 games and only two in their last 16.
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