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Twins 3, Orioles 1: Baker shuts down the O's, Guthrie gets the hard-luck loss

The Orioles were who they always are when Scott Baker pitches against them: losers. Baker pitched seven shutout innings tonight, allowing just four hits and one walk. He struck out nine, including Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, and Luke Scott twice each. With this win Baker is now 6-0 in his career against the Orioles with a 2.17 ERA.

If there is a silver lining to be found in the offense, it is that Matt Wieters continued to look good at the plate with a single and a double. Vladimir Guerrero had a double and another infield hit, and Brian Roberts got on base three times with a single and two walks. Other than that it was a very poor showing by the O's offense. Nick Markakis in particular had a rough day, going 0-for-4 and leaving five runners on base.

Jeremy Guthrie pitched a good game, also going seven innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and no walks. Both runs that Guthrie allowed were knocked in by Jim Thome, who had looked old and broken in the first three games of the series. In the second inning, Thome did what Thome was born to do: hit a home run. It was his second of the season and the 591st of his career. He added an RBI single in the sixth inning. With the O's scoring only one run, Guthrie got the hard-luck loss.

The third run of the game for the Twins scored on a home run by Michael Cuddyer off of the increasingly pathetic Mike Gonzalez. This was Gonzalez's sixth appearance of the year and the fifth in which he allowed a run. I mean...what do you even say to that?

The O's tried to start a rally in the eighth inning, but fell short. With Baker finally out of the game, Roberts walked and Derrek Lee doubled with two down to put runners at second and third. Vlad hit a ball up the middle that the shortstop Alexi Casilla stopped with a dive, though he couldn't make a throw. Roberts scored and with runners on first and third, Ron Gardenhire brought in a lefty to face Luke Scott. Scott didn't leave us in suspense, grounding out to second on the first pitch. Well done, Luke.

The O's went quietly in the 9th against closer Matt Capps, and that was that. They split the series and now look forward to a weekend with the New York Yankees.