Baltimore at Minnesota

W: R. Liz (1-0) L: K. Slowey (2-5)
S: G. Sherrill (19)
HR: BAL - K. Millar (9), M. Mora (8)   MIN - None

Orioles 5, Twins 3 wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- In his second stint in the big leagues, Radhames Liz looked like a completely new pitcher. Just ask the Minnesota Twins.

Liz made a solid 2008 debut and got help from homers by Kevin Millar and Melvin Mora in Baltimore's 5-3 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night.

Using an improved changeup and pitching down in the zone, Liz (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Orioles, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Minnesota and improved to 25-8 when scoring at least four runs in a game.

"It makes you feel good that somebody was listening and put it into place," manager Dave Trembley said. "We told him we weren't going to bring him back unless we thought he was ready to pitch."

Kevin Slowey (2-5) gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings for the Twins, who got going a little too late against Liz.

The 24-year-old Dominican breezed through the first five innings, allowing just one hit and one walk as the Orioles jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

"I feel very excited. I came to throw the ball, and I was very focused and threw strikes," Liz said. "I feel like I want to do it, this is the way. I want to be here and I want to stay here and I am very excited about it."

The Twins got three straight doubles in the sixth from Carlos Gomez, Alexi Casilla and Joe Mauer to cut the deficit to 4-2, ending Liz's night. Matt Albers allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings of relief and George Sherrill picked up his 19th save in 21 chances.

It had to be an encouraging sign for Liz, who was roughed up by the Twins in his major league debut last August and was just 1-5 with a 4.05 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk this season.

"Last year, I wasn't good when I started. So, right away when I went to the mound, I didn't feel comfortable," he said. "Now I feel comfortable and I think I have in my mind to throw strikes, look at the ball and be comfortable with all of my pitches."

With a big leg kick and a fastball that reached 94 mph, Liz retired 16 of the first 18 batters he faced and mixed in plenty of offspeed pitches to keep the Twins off balance.

"He's earned an opportunity to come back here and we think an awful lot of him," Trembley said. "I just liked what I saw from him tonight. He looked really relaxed, confident. He has a heck of an arm."

In his last five full starts for Norfolk, Liz walked 16 batters, so the Twins wanted to be patient in the early going. But he kept throwing strike after strike, getting ahead in the count and surprising Minnesota's hitters.

"We were expecting him to be wild and stuff," DH Jason Kubel said. "But he was pretty much on the money tonight."

Slowey, the 2007 Twins minor league pitcher of the year, has been compared to the retired Brad Radke early in his career largely because of his reliance on location rather than overpowering stuff. But the two right-handers share something else in common - a propensity to give up the long ball.

Coming off his first career complete game against Kansas City last week, Slowey gave up leadoff homers to Millar in the second and Mora in the sixth and has allowed 22 homers in 18 career starts.

"I didn't have my best stuff tonight," Slowey said. "But I still didn't use the stuff I had properly."

He yielded to Juan Rincon to start the seventh, and the struggling reliever gave up a leadoff double to Ramon Hernandez, threw a wild pitch and then an RBI-single to Adam Jones that gave Baltimore a 5-2 lead.

Brian Roberts went 2-for-5 with a double and his AL-leading fifth triple of the season.


Baltimore LHP Adam Loewen (elbow) will throw one inning in extended spring training on Wednesday. If all goes well, O's manager Dave Trembley said, Loewen will leave extended spring to start a rehab assignment. ... Trembley on the decision to designate SS Luis Hernandez for assignment: "Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can take a step forward." ... Twins 1B Justin Morneau was in the lineup again despite a sore left knee and a sore calf. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he might give Morneau a day or two at DH to let him rest.

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

J. Mauer
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0

K. Millar
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

April 18, 2017
MLB Power Rankings (4/18) (2:50)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5021002 .265
Nick Markakis, RF5010003 .262
Melvin Mora, 3B4111001 .248
Aubrey Huff, DH4000021 .249
Kevin Millar, 1B4121010 .243
Luke Scott, LF4120000 .273
    Jay Payton, PR-LF0000000 .239
Ramon Hernandez, C4120002 .225
Adam Jones, CF3122000 .256
Freddie Bynum, SS4010001 .212
2B - Brian Roberts (14, Crain), Ramon Hernandez 2 (8, Slowey, Rincon)
3B - Brian Roberts (5, Slowey)
HR - Melvin Mora (8, Slowey), Kevin Millar (9, Slowey)
SF - Adam Jones (2)
RBI - Brian Roberts (19), Melvin Mora (30), Kevin Millar (29), Adam Jones 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Roberts (7)
SB - Adam Jones (5, 2nd base off Slowey/Mauer)
CS - Freddie Bynum (2, 2nd base by Breslow/Mauer)
Team LOB - 6
Baltimore Orioles
Radhames Liz (W,1-0) 5.1422140 3.38
Matt Albers (H,4) 1.2111220 2.20
Jim Johnson (H,7) 1100110 1.39
George Sherrill (S,19) 1000010 3.16
Pitches-Strikes - Radhames Liz 90-61, Matt Albers 29-15, Jim Johnson 22-11, George Sherrill 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Radhames Liz 2-10, Matt Albers 1-2
Batters Faced - Radhames Liz 21, Matt Albers 8, Jim Johnson 5, George Sherrill 3
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Gomez, CF5110012 .278
Alexi Casilla, 2B4111012 .323
Joe Mauer, C3021100 .324
Justin Morneau, 1B4010023 .302
Michael Cuddyer, RF4000013 .251
Jason Kubel, DH2100200 .236
Delmon Young, LF4000023 .268
Mike Lamb, 3B2000100 .247
   a- Matt Macri, PH1000000 .429
Brendan Harris, SS4011010 .249
a-popped out for Lamb in the 9th
2B - Carlos Gomez (10, Liz), Alexi Casilla (4, Liz), Joe Mauer (12, Liz)
RBI - Alexi Casilla (15), Joe Mauer (23), Brendan Harris (15)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Carlos Gomez 1
DP - Gomez-Morneau-Lamb-Casilla-Harris
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (L,2-5) 6744022 3.76
Juan Rincon0211000 4.74
Craig Breslow 1.2300010 2.31
Jesse Crain 1.1100000 3.47
WP - Juan Rincon (3), Craig Breslow (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 94-68, Juan Rincon 9-5, Craig Breslow 28-15, Jesse Crain 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 3-12, Craig Breslow 1-2, Jesse Crain 2-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 24, Juan Rincon 2, Craig Breslow 7, Jesse Crain 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18802
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski