Minneapolis, MN – Manny Machado hit a go-ahead single to begin a three-run rally in the 10th inning as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Minnesota Twins, 9-6, in the opener of a three-game series.
With one out in the inning and runners on first and third, Machado connected on a 1-0 pitch by Anthony Swarzak (1-1), scoring Chris Dickerson. Nick Markakis followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Nate McLouth and Adam Jones hit a liner to center to bring Machado home.
Tommy Hunter (3-1) was perfect through 2 1/3 innings of relief for Baltimore, while Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless 10th to notch his 14th save. Starter Jason Hammel lasted just four-plus innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and two walks. He was looking to become the first Orioles pitcher to win his first six road starts in a season since Jeff Ballard in 1989.
Markakis and Chris Davis drove in two runs apiece in the victory, Baltimore's fifth in the last six games.
"It's not a club that panics. It's a mature group, even though it's the youngest team in our division," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "They stay within each other and do what they do. Guys don't try to hit five-run home runs. Just got a lot of people who strung a lot of good at-bats together and kept grinding it out."
Joe Mauer had two RBI, while Trevor Plouffe, Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia each drove in one run for the Twins. Starter Mike Pelfrey allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk in six innings.
Jamey Carroll singled and Mauer ripped a double to right to start the home half of the first. Willingham grounded out towards third, but brought Carroll home.
Mauer tacked on two more runs for Minnesota in the third with a two-out single that scored Doumit and Arcia. Doumit hit a sacrifice fly an inning later that plated Justin Morneau and gave the Twins a 4-0 lead.
Willingham was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth. After Morneau was walked, Plouffe knocked a double that scored Willingham. Two batters later, Arcia hit a grounder that brought Morneau across the plate.
However, the Orioles would not give up, scoring six runs over the next two innings. Davis started the rally with a double that scored Markakis. After a fly out by Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Dickerson hit back-to-back RBI doubles.
An inning later, McLouth smacked a leadoff double and later scored on a throwing error by Plouffe on a bunt by Machado. Markakis singled to score Machado, then Davis tied the game with another RBI double.
Johnson came to pitch in the 10th. He allowed a two-out single to Chris Parmelee, but struck out Wilkin Ramirez to end the game.
"We had them where we wanted them," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But we just ran out of bullets there at the end after our starter went out of the game. But our bullpen has been pretty good, so we'll take our chances with them. It just didn't work out for us tonight."
The Orioles were 10-for-24 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base, while the Twins were 3-for-17 and left nine men on base ... Davis had three doubles ... Alexi Casilla had two stolen bases for Baltimore... Johnson has 35 consecutive converted saves dating back to last season, setting the franchise record he had shared with Randy Myers. Myers had 34 from May 6- September 27, 1997.