Twins Use Unearned Run To Beat Orioles 6-5
BALTIMORE (AP) — In the first game of the season in which Chris Davis failed to hit a home run, he still managed to make a play that influenced the final outcome.
Justin Morneau singled in the tiebreaking run with two outs in the ninth inning after Davis botched a grounder, and the Twins got a home run from Chris Parmalee in their first win in Baltimore since April 21, 2011.
“Wins are good anywhere,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “This is a tough league over here. This whole division is tough, and there are a lot of good baseball teams in it. You can’t make too many mistakes against these people.”
Although Davis picked up his 17th RBI, he failed to become the first player in major league history to homer in the first five games of the season.
“I wasn’t actually thinking I need to hit a homer,” he said. “My mindset was more, drive in runs. Homers come and go, they come in bunches.”
His error was the first of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
With the score tied at 5, Baltimore turned to closer Jim Johnson (0-1) in the ninth. Davis let a one-out groundball by Aaron Hicks roll through his legs, and after a two-out walk to Josh Willingham, Morneau singled up the middle.
“My glove was down, my head was down the ball just went right through my legs,” Davis said. “Just one of those things.”
Of course, if Morneau didn’t become the first Twins player to get three hits in a game this season, the error wouldn’t have mattered.
“I don’t know if he was trying to come in there or not. It was a pretty good pitch to hit — right over the plate,” Morneau said. “I tried to keep it simple and get a good swing on it and take my chances. That was an at-bat where I was just trying not to do too much.”
It was Johnson’s first loss since last July 27.
Josh Roenicke (1-0) pitched three innings of one-hit relief and Glen Perkins got three straight outs for his first save.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman allowed five runs, seven hits and four walks in 3 2-3 rocky innings. Activated off the disabled list before the game after being sidelined with an abdominal strain, Tillman needed 93 pitches to get 11 outs.
Tillman was replaced by T.J. McFarland, a Rule 5 signee making his major league debut. The 23-year-old lefty allowed one hit and struck out five over 3 1-3 innings.
Twins starter Vance Worley gave up four earned runs and 10 hits in five innings. It was the first time in eight career starts in April that he failed to go at least six innings.
The Orioles scored two first-inning runs with help from Minnesota’s defense. After Manny Machado singled with one out, Nick Markakis hit a sinking liner to left that eluded a diving Willingham, who tried to locate the loose ball as Markakis reached second base.
Adam Jones then hit a swinging bunt that scored Machado, and Markakis came home after Worley’s late, off-target throw to first base.
“That’s one run they wouldn’t have had if I just ate it,” Worley said.
Minnesota closed to 2-1 in the second on a sacrifice fly by Brian Dozier, but Hicks struck out with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Twins took the lead with a four-run third. Ryan Doumit singled in a run and Trevor Plouffe hit a sacrifice fly before Parmalee drove a 3-0 pitch over the right-field wall.
Davis singled in a run in the bottom half, and Baltimore tied it at 5 in the fifth with four straight singles, the last by Jones to drive in two runs.
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