Minnesota at Baltimore

W: J. Johnson (2-0) L: J. Mijares (0-1)
S: G. Sherrill (5)
HR: MIN - None   BAL - M. Mora (2), A. Huff (4)

Montanez's tiebreaking single in eighth lifts O's, dooms Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- A .154 hitter drove in the go-ahead run, the slumping third baseman homered and scored twice, and the struggling closer sealed the victory with a solid inning of work.

Relying on an unlikely cast of stars, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Thursday night for a two-game sweep.

"A lot of guys that have been scuffling a little bit came through," said manager Dave Trembley, who hadn't seen his team win two in a row since April 13-14 at Texas.

Lou Montanez singled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning after taking a .154 batting average to the plate. The single scored Melvin Mora, who came in hitting .222 but homered in his first at-bat to end a 2-for-24 skid.

Montanez's hit set the stage for George Sherrill, who got three outs for his fifth save in seven tries. After blowing two save opportunities in the span of a week, Sherrill was in danger of losing his job.

But he was in control against the Twins. After getting two quick outs, he walked Joe Mauer before retiring Justin Morneau on a lazy fly to left.

"It felt real good," Sherrill said. "It was good to come out and show command. It felt really good coming out of my hand."

A pregame session with pitching coach Rick Kranitz provided the left-hander with an improved delivery, and the results were evident.

"That's probably the best Sherrill has thrown this spring," Trembley said. "He got on top, had finish on his pitches, his velocity was up."

Montanez, Mora and Sherrill weren't the only slumping Orioles to turn it around. Gregg Zaun, who came in batting .157, had three hits, and .200 hitter Ty Wigginton had a key single in the decisive eighth inning.

Mauer and Delmon Young had three hits apiece for the Twins, who have lost three straight and five of six.

"We've missed opportunities and we haven't pitched well enough and we've been behind in too many games," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's why we're where we are."

Minnesota went 1-3 on a brief trip through Detroit and Baltimore.

"I know it's just been four games, but it feels like it's been two weeks," outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "Three [losses] in a row. We didn't want that to happen. We didn't expect it to happen. But it did. We go home now and we have to play better."

With the score 4-all in the eighth, Mora hit a one-out single off Jose Mijares (0-1). Wigginton singled with two outs before Montanez lined a single to left.

Jim Johnson (2-0) worked the top of the inning and Sherrill sealed the win.

Orioles rookie Brad Bergesen gave up three runs and 11 hits over six innings in his fourth big league start. The right-hander was pulled with Baltimore up 4-3, but the bullpen promptly gave up the lead.

Chris Ray entered in the seventh and gave up a single to Denard Span, who scored on a single by Mauer.

Twins starter Glen Perkins yielded four runs and five hits in six innings.

Minnesota went up 1-0 in the second when Joe Crede doubled and scored on a single by Cuddyer. In the bottom half, Mora homered and Cesar Izturis delivered an RBI single.

The Twins loaded the bases with no outs in the third before Adam Jones made a fine diving catch on a liner to center by Morneau. The sacrifice fly tied the game, but Bergesen averted further damage.

Aubrey Huff hit a two-out, two-run drive to right in the bottom half to make it 4-2.

Bergesen gave up two straight singles to open the sixth, then got Cuddyer to hit into a double play. Young followed with a bloop single to get Minnesota to 4-3.


Zaun has three multihit games in his last six starts, but is batting only .192. ... The Twins hit into two double plays and have eight GIDPs in their last five games. ... Baltimore clinched its first home series win over Minnesota in four years. ... Mauer is 38-for-98 (.388) lifetime against the Orioles.

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

A. Huff
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 1

J. Mauer
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF-LF5220010 .309
Matt Tolbert, 2B4020000 .286
Joe Mauer, C4031111 .476
Justin Morneau, 1B3001103 .310
Jason Kubel, DH4110015 .313
Joe Crede, 3B4120002 .232
Michael Cuddyer, RF4011001 .260
Delmon Young, LF4031001 .288
    Carlos Gomez, PR-CF0000000 .224
Nick Punto, SS4000012 .190
2B - Joe Crede (6, Bergesen)
SF - Justin Morneau (2)
SH - Matt Tolbert (1)
RBI - Joe Mauer (4), Justin Morneau (22), Michael Cuddyer (14), Delmon Young (13)
2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young (5)
CS - Delmon Young (2, 2nd base by Bergesen/Zaun)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Denard Span 1
DP - Punto-Tolbert-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Glen Perkins 6544222 3.73
Matt Guerrier 1100000 3.45
Jose Mijares (L,0-1) 1311000 1.59
HBP - Markakis (by Glen Perkins)
Pitches-Strikes - Glen Perkins 101-62, Matt Guerrier 15-13, Jose Mijares 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glen Perkins 5-10, Matt Guerrier 2-1, Jose Mijares 1-1
Batters Faced - Glen Perkins 25, Matt Guerrier 4, Jose Mijares 5
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4000003 .294
Adam Jones, CF4000011 .346
Nick Markakis, RF3100000 .355
Melvin Mora, 3B4221001 .245
Aubrey Huff, DH2212201 .274
Ty Wigginton, 1B4010012 .208
Lou Montanez, LF4011002 .185
Gregg Zaun, C3030000 .192
Cesar Izturis, SS3011002 .250
HR - Melvin Mora (2, Perkins), Aubrey Huff (4, Perkins)
RBI - Melvin Mora (11), Aubrey Huff 2 (25), Lou Montanez (3), Cesar Izturis (10)
2-OUT RBI - Aubrey Huff 2 (9), Lou Montanez (1), Cesar Izturis (6)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Wigginton, Bergesen-B. Roberts-Wigginton
E - Chris Ray (1, Throwing)
Baltimore Orioles
Brad Bergesen 61133130 4.98
Chris Ray (BS,1) 0.2211000 8.00
Jamie Walker 0.1000000 1.80
Jim Johnson (W,2-0) 1100000 2.25
George Sherrill (S,5) 1000110 4.26
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Bergesen 88-55, Chris Ray 11-6, Jamie Walker 2-1, Jim Johnson 17-8, George Sherrill 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Bergesen 6-6, Chris Ray 1-1, Jamie Walker 1-0, Jim Johnson 2-1
Batters Faced - Brad Bergesen 27, Chris Ray 4, Jamie Walker 1, Jim Johnson 4, George Sherrill 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11399
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Brian Knight