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Minnesota (63-63) «0210030017121

Young's fourth hit gives Twins win over Orioles in bottom of ninth

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins are finally on a roll, and so is Delmon Young.

Michael Cuddyer doesn't think that is a coincidence.

Young's fourth hit of the night scored Cuddyer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Twins to a 7-6 victory against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

Justin Morneau hit his 29th home run of the season for the Twins, who have won five games in a row for the first time all season as they chase the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

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A notoriously slow starter, Young hit .241 in April and .236 in May, but has rebounded nicely of late. Over his past 10 games, Young is hitting .292 with three homers and 13 RBI to raise his average to .266. His four hits on Tuesday night tied a career high.

"He's been swinging great this month and we need that," Cuddyer said. "Since he's been swinging great, we've been playing better. I think that's a direct correlation."

With two outs in the ninth, Cuddyer hit a liner off a diving Brian Roberts' glove at second base to get things started. Kam Mikolio (0-1) then walked Jason Kubel before Young hit one the opposite way. Cuddyer easily beat right fielder Nick Markakis' throw home and the jubilant Twins mobbed Young at first base.

"The last couple weeks, we'll give up some runs early," Young said. "From what the guys have been saying, this is the best offense they've had here in the last 10 years, so we know we can score runs and we know we can do it with one swing of the bat."

The Twins (63-63) moved into a tie with the White Sox, who lost to Boston, for second place in the division.

Michael Aubrey had a double and three RBI for the Orioles, who led 5-3 going into the sixth, but never were able to come up with the big hit to put the game away.

Jose Mijares (2-2) pitched one inning for the victory and the Twins bullpen allowed only two runs over the final 6 1/3 innings in relief of Armando Gabino, who was shaky in his major league debut.

Gabino became the 22nd pitcher used by the Twins in a year plagued by injuries and riddled with inconsistency. The club record for pitchers used in a season is 23 in 1989.

Gabino lasted only 2 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and four runs with three walks, but the Orioles could have had so much more. Before the game, Orioles manager Dave Trembley spoke of the importance of staying on the 25 year old and taking advantage when he struggled.

"If you get a chance early, you better not let them off the ropes," Trembley said. "You've got to go after him. You've got to get him early."

Baltimore stranded eight runners in the first four innings and left the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings.

"I don't feel like we gave it away, I feel we didn't take it," Trembley said. "It was there for us to take, and we didn't take it."

Those missed opportunities allowed the Twins to scratch their way back into it, even though Gabino and Philip Humber combined to walk seven hitters in 3 2/3 innings.

Morneau, in his second game back after missing six with an inner ear infection, hit a solo home run in the third inning. It was his first since Aug. 2, a span of 51 at-bats.

Alexi Casilla's two-run double off Brian Bass highlighted a three-run sixth inning that tied the game 6-all.

Orioles starter Brian Matusz gave up three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five innings.

"A guy goes out there and gives us a three run lead in the last four innings," Bass said. "You're expected to hold it and win the game. Unfortunately I coughed it up and didn't get it done."

Denard Span had a triple and two RBI for the Twins.

Notes

  • Roberts went 0 for 5 and did not reach base for the first time in 27 games, snapping the longest active streak in the majors.
  • Orioles CF Felix Pie made a brilliant lunging catch on a gapper by Carlos Gomez in the second inning. He also had a baserunning blunder in the sixth when Morneau caught a ball in foul territory and doubled Pie up trying to advance to third base.
  • Lefties were 0 for 8 against Matusz in his previous five starts of the season. Twins lefties Span, Mauer and Morneau combined to go 3 for 9 with a home run and three RBI.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Denard Span chases down Delmon Young, whose RBI single gets the job done in the ninth. (AP)
Denard Span chases down Delmon Young, whose RBI single gets the job done in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

D. Young
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Baltimore

M. Aubrey
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5000011 .291
Felix Pie, CF4110111 .254
Nolan Reimold, DH4020110 .276
Nick Markakis, RF4220102 .308
Luke Scott, LF4011114 .263
Matt Wieters, C4111112 .263
Melvin Mora, 3B3110123 .251
Michael Aubrey, 1B3113100 .417
Cesar Izturis, SS4011013 .261
Totals35610678  
Batting
2B - Felix Pie (6, Keppel), Nolan Reimold (16, Crain), Nick Markakis (40, Gabino), Michael Aubrey (2, Gabino)
RBI - Luke Scott (59), Matt Wieters (21), Michael Aubrey 3 (3), Cesar Izturis (24)
2-OUT RBI - Luke Scott (26), Matt Wieters (8), Michael Aubrey (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - B. Roberts-Izturis-Aubrey
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Matusz 5733231 6.46
Brian Bass0333200 5.01
Mark Hendrickson (BS,2) 1000000 4.50
Chris Ray 1000100 5.70
Kam Mickolio (L,0-1) 1.2211120 0.79
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Matusz 99-57, Brian Bass 21-10, Mark Hendrickson 8-5, Chris Ray 13-8, Kam Mickolio 39-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Matusz 5-7, Mark Hendrickson 2-0, Chris Ray 1-2, Kam Mickolio 3-0
Batters Faced - Brian Matusz 24, Brian Bass 5, Mark Hendrickson 2, Chris Ray 4, Kam Mickolio 8
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, LF4012121 .306
Orlando Cabrera, SS4011102 .281
Joe Mauer, C5010002 .372
Justin Morneau, 1B5111013 .296
Michael Cuddyer, RF3110200 .275
Brendan Harris, 3B3000003 .263
   a- Jason Kubel, PH0000100 .303
    Nick Punto, PR0000000 .211
Delmon Young, DH5241001 .266
Carlos Gomez, CF4110013 .242
Alexi Casilla, 2B3221110 .209
Totals36712665  
a-walked for Harris in the 9th
Batting
2B - Alexi Casilla (6, Bass)
3B - Denard Span (8, Matusz)
HR - Justin Morneau (29, Matusz)
SH - Brendan Harris (1)
RBI - Denard Span 2 (52), Orlando Cabrera (54), Justin Morneau (95), Delmon Young (42), Alexi Casilla (15)
2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young (17)
SB - Orlando Cabrera (13, 3rd base off Matusz/Wieters), Alexi Casilla (9, 2nd base off Matusz/Wieters)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Michael Cuddyer 1
DP - Morneau-Harris
E - Armando Gabino (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Armando Gabino 2.2544310 13.50
Philip Humber 1111430 9.00
Bobby Keppel 2.1311010 5.31
Jesse Crain 2100020 6.55
Jose Mijares (W,2-2) 1000010 1.99
WP - Bobby Keppel (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Armando Gabino 57-32, Philip Humber 39-20, Bobby Keppel 34-20, Jesse Crain 30-21, Jose Mijares 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Armando Gabino 3-4, Bobby Keppel 1-3, Jesse Crain 3-1
Batters Faced - Armando Gabino 16, Philip Humber 8, Bobby Keppel 8, Jesse Crain 7, Jose Mijares 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23696
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Paul Emmel