Baltimore at Minnesota

W: R. Ortiz (1-0) L: J. Wright (0-1)
HR: BAL - None   MIN - None

Twins 7, Orioles 2

CBS wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ramon Ortiz came to Minnesota in need of a makeover.

He signed with the Twins in hopes that highly regarded pitching coach Rick Anderson could clean him up after three straight disappointing seasons. One start into 2007, Ortiz looks like a new man.

He allowed two runs in seven innings in his Twins debut, helping Minnesota complete a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 7-2 victory Wednesday night.

"I feel great. I feel very good. When you have a great pitching coach like Andy, he worked me hard in spring training," Ortiz said. "Look at me now. I'm different now."

Michael Cuddyer had three singles and two RBI before leaving with a cut on his chin in the fifth inning for the Twins, who smacked around Jaret Wright in his first start for the Orioles.

Wright lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs -- four earned -- on four hits and walking five.

"I thought it was terrible," Wright said. "The stuff was OK, I just didn't know where it was going. Got myself in trouble and didn't get out of it."

The Twins got to Wright early, and the Orioles right-hander didn't make it out of the third.

Wright walked three batters in the inning and gave up a second RBI single to Cuddyer. Rondell White's single up the middle scored two more, and that was it.

The Orioles acquired Wright in the offseason after he had a solid season with the Yankees, hoping he might be able to solidify the rotation behind ace Erik Bedard and youngster Daniel Cabrera. But he was 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA in spring training and his problems continued Wednesday night.

"After spring, you look for things to turn around," Wright said. "But it's kind of the same thing. It's frustrating, but I have to move on."

Once Wright left, the Orioles kept bumbling. Jeremy Guthrie took over, issuing a walk to load the bases with two outs.

Luis Castillo then lifted a high fly into foul territory in left, but Jay Gibbons dropped it for an error to keep the inning alive. Castillo followed with a high chopper to shortstop that Miguel Tejada tried to backhand, but the ball got by him in what could have been charged another error but wasn't, allowing two more runs to score.

"We're not happy about these three days," said manager Sam Perlozzo, whose Orioles are 0-3 for the first time since 1995. "We thought we could do something a little better in this series. Now we get to go to New York, and it's not going to get any easier."

With a 6-0 lead, Ortiz cruised. The free-agent acquisition entered the night 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in five career starts at the Metrodome, but looked right at home in a Twins uniform.

He needed just 61 pitches to get through the first five innings, allowed five hits all night, and helped himself in the second when he fielded a hard shot off the bat of Gibbons and turned a 1-6-3 double play.

Like Wright, Ortiz is a veteran with an up-and-down past who was brought in to stabilize a starting rotation with plenty of holes. He played an integral part in Anaheim's title run in 2002, going 15-9 on the season and winning Game 3 of the World Series.

The wiry Dominican dubbed "Pedro Lite" won 16 games the following season, but went just 25-34 over the next three seasons with the Angels, Reds and Nationals.

After the Twins signed Ortiz to a one-year, $3.1 million, Anderson went to work. He told Ortiz to stay tall in his delivery to create more downward motion for his pitches.

"The other biggest thing I told him was, `Don't try as hard,"' Anderson said. "In the past, he'd get into a jam and he tries harder and it snowballs. It was a very positive outing."

Ortiz gave up a triple to Brian Roberts and a double to Melvin Mora in Baltimore's two-run sixth, the only blemish on an otherwise impressive showing.


Cuddyer fouled a ball off the plate in the fourth inning that opened a cut on his chin requiring stitches. ... Twins closer Joe Nathan was late arriving to the game after his wife, Lisa, gave birth to the couple's second child. Daughter Riley Grace weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. ... Orioles C Paul Bako had a tough series. He was cut on the chin in the opener after a collision with Justin Morneau at home plate, then was beaned on the elbow by Ortiz in the seventh Wednesday night.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

R. Ortiz
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 1
K 4

M. Cuddyer
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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April 18, 2017
MLB Power Rankings (4/18) (2:50)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4110003 .182
Melvin Mora, 3B4111001 .143
Nick Markakis, RF3000111 .100
Miguel Tejada, SS4011001 .364
Aubrey Huff, DH4010021 .455
Jay Gibbons, LF4000011 .167
Chris Gomez, 1B4010010 .250
Corey Patterson, CF4000012 .100
Paul Bako, C2010001 .250
2B - Melvin Mora (1, Ortiz)
3B - Brian Roberts (1, Ortiz)
RBI - Melvin Mora (2), Miguel Tejada (2)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Tejada-Gomez
E - Jay Gibbons (1, Dropped fly), Melvin Mora (1, Misplayed grounder), Corey Patterson (1, Throwing)
Baltimore Orioles
Jaret Wright (L,0-1) 2.1464510 15.43
Jeremy Guthrie 2.2511110 3.38
John Parrish 1200020 0.00
Jamie Walker 1000000 0.00
Chris Ray 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 66-36, Jeremy Guthrie 52-33, John Parrish 17-11, Jamie Walker 14-11, Chris Ray 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 5-1, Jeremy Guthrie 3-3, Jamie Walker 1-3, Chris Ray 1-2
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 16, Jeremy Guthrie 13, John Parrish 5, Jamie Walker 4, Chris Ray 3
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B5022002 .500
Nick Punto, 3B3200205 .250
Joe Mauer, C4120100 .455
Michael Cuddyer, RF3132000 .364
    Jason Tyner, RF2010000 .333
Justin Morneau, 1B4100125 .364
Torii Hunter, CF4110007 .273
Rondell White, LF4112013 .111
Jason Kubel, DH4011012 .167
Jason Bartlett, SS2000202 .111
2B - Joe Mauer (1, Wright), Torii Hunter (2, Guthrie), Jason Kubel (1, Guthrie)
RBI - Luis Castillo 2 (3), Michael Cuddyer 2 (2), Rondell White 2 (2), Jason Kubel (1)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Castillo 2 (3)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Ortiz-Bartlett-Morneau
E - Jason Bartlett (2, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Ramon Ortiz (W,1-0) 7522140 2.57
Matt Guerrier 2100020 0.00
HBP - Bako (by Ramon Ortiz)
Pitches-Strikes - Ramon Ortiz 98-56, Matt Guerrier 25-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ramon Ortiz 6-11, Matt Guerrier 2-2
Batters Faced - Ramon Ortiz 28, Matt Guerrier 7
Game Information
Attendance - 27539
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano