Written by Chris Slade
Today's series finale got under way at 1:35 ET with Phil Hughes and Kevin Gausman on the mound. We had a scoreless ballgame until the 6th inning when Joe Mauer triple in two runs followed by a sac fly by Kennys Vargas. The Orioles tied it up in the 7th when Nick Hundley hit a three-run bomb. The Twins regained a lead in the 8th when Mauer singled in two more and Vargas singled in another run as well. A Nelson Cruz home run in the 9th cut the lead to 6-4 but the O's ultimately fell in the final game by that score.
Kevin Gausman ended with a disapointing result but had been pitching a terrific game on the mound through the first five innings. He had allowed just five hits, no runs, and had struck out five with his impressive fastball-changeup combination. He began to miss more frequently over the middle the third time through the order and the Twins middle order bats Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas made him pay. Gausman left with one out and two on in the 8th but those two runners would score on Andrew Miller. Gausman was saddled with the loss.
Final Line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, Loss
Andrew Miller allowed his first earned run with the Orioles today. He didn't fool Joe Mauer who drove in two runs with a single of Miller. Kennys Vargas, the hulking rookie first baseman, then singled in Mauer before Miller retired the next two on flyouts.
Evan Meek is back in an Oriole unifrom, everyone. This time he's ready to (possibly) live up to the Spring Training hype as he retired the side in order for a scoreless 9th.
The bats had a tough time solving Phil Hughes today who brough his A game to the ballpark. The three runs that scored on Hughes were unearned and he ultimately worked 8 innings with just 5 hits, no walks, and 5 strikouts.
Nick Hundley had the big hit in this one, a three run blast in the 7th that broke up the Hughes shutout bid.
Chris Davis recorded a 2-for-4 afternoon at the plate, the lone multi-hit game on offense.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Jimmy Paredes continues to sing a hot bat but made a costly error at third today in the 7th inning that allowed a runner to reach and score on Kevin Gausman.
Key Moments In The Game
Hundley's home run at the time breathed life into the offense and gave the O's a chance at a comeback win. But, the Twins pulled away with two key hits off Andrew Miller that brought home three game deciding runs.
Other Notes/ Musings
J.J. Hardy left the game in the 7th due to lower back spasms. Seemed like a precautionary measure on Buck's part to make sure it doesn't become a recurring issue for Hardy down the stretch.
In the minors, Chance Sisco won the batting title for the SAL today, finishing with an outstanding .340 average.
The Reds come to town next. Mat Latos will oppose Bud Norris tomorrow night at 7:05 ET.
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