The Orioles beat the Twins for the second game in a row as Jeremy Guthrie pitched 6.2 innings for his first win of the year. The Orioles hitters got to Twins ace Francisco Liriano for 5 runs in 6 innings despite Liriano pitching pretty well. Other than Ty Wigginton's double in the 7th inning (which wasn't a rocket by any means), every run was scored on a bloop or a seeing eye hit through the infield. As wishEYEhadCRABS said in the game thread, "We're Jeter'ing the hell out of Liriano."
Jeremy Guthrie allowed the Twins to get on the board in the first inning when, after an Orlando Hudson single, Justin Morneau lined his 7th home run of the year to right field. Just like that, the Twins were up 2-0 and with Liriano on the mound, two runs seemed almost insurmountable.
Two runs wasn't too much, though. Liriano retired the side in order in both the 1st and 2nd innings, but wouldn't be so fortunate in the 3rd and 4th. After Garrett Atkins struck out (of course) to lead off the 3rd inning, Liriano gave up three consecutive singles to Nolan Reimold, Cesar Izturis, and He Who Shall Not Be Named. Adam Jones then popped up for the second out, but Nick Markakis hit a soft liner into center field that fell in, scoring Reimold and Izturis.
The O's got right back to the task of Jeter'ing Liriano in the 4th inning. Wiggy struck out to lead off the inning and Matt Wieters doubled to left. Garrett Atkins flew out to center field for the second out (of course) but Liriano couldn't get out of the inning. He walked Reimold and Cesar Izturis hit the slowest hit ever back up the middle, scoring Matt Wieters. The hitter after Izturis also hit a soft single, bringing Reimold in for the 4th run on the day. Adam Jones singled to re-load the bases, and Nick Markakis singled again, scoring Izzy. That would be all the runs the Orioles would score on Liriano, but they would be enough.
Jeremy Guthrie, not knowing what to do with so much run support, immediately allowed a lead off home run to Michael Cuddyer. He settled down after that, though, and wouldn't allow another run during the game. In fact, he only allowed two more base runners. Orlando Hudson tripled in the 5th inning on a ball that Markakis made a very ill advised dive on, and Wilson Ramos was hit by a pitch in the 7th. A good outing by Guthrie and nice for him to finally have a W next to his name in the books.
With Liriano out of the game after five innings, the Orioles got to the Twins bullpen for two more runs, one each in the 7th and 8th innings. In the 7th, Markakis led off the inning with a walk, stole second, and scored on Ty Wigginton's opposite field double. Then Izturis led off the 8th with a walk, stole second, and scored on Adam Jones' broken bat single to right field.
The Orioles bullpen was solid again (it's very weird typing that) as Will Ohman relieved Guthrie in the 7th and retired Denard Span to end the inning. In an unexpected although logical turn of events, Ohman also pitched the entire 8th inning, and Koji Uehara pitched perfect 9th inning to close it out.
O's win! They've ensured that they will at least get a split in the series, and that's against the two best pitchers they'll face in the series. Not bad. They'll be back in action tonight in game two at 8:10 PM with Kevin Millwood vs. Scott Baker.