Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kurt Suzuki went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI as the Minnesota Twins downed the Baltimore Orioles, 5-2, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Trevor Plouffe had two hits and drove in two for the Twins, who saw starter Phil Hughes (3-1) allow two runs on six hits while striking out three over 6 1/3 frames.
"I certainly feel like I'm throwing the ball a lot better than I was at the beginning of the year," Hughes said.
Glen Perkins picked up his seventh save of the season after striking out Nick Markakis with two outs and runners on the corners in the ninth.
Nelson Cruz provided all the Orioles' offense with a two-run homer. Starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-3) allowed three runs on six hits, while fanning seven and walking four, through 4 2/3 innings.
After two scoreless frames, Minnesota put two runs on the board in the third. Eduardo Escobar singled and advanced to second on a groundout, preceding a Dozier single. Plouffe then drove in Escobar and Dozier, ripping a two-out double down the left field line.
In the fifth, the Twins added to their lead with another run. Dozier was walked to leadoff the inning and stole second. Plouffe walked before ahead of a strikeout and Gonzalez then issued back-to-back walks to Jason Kubel and Suzuki, which plated Dozier.
Baltimore pulled within 3-2 in the sixth after Cruz smashed his two-run homer. Manny Machado hit a two-out single before Cruz lifted a 1-0 cutter into the second deck in left.
Minnesota tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh. Chris Colabello doubled and reached third on a balk by Ryan Webb. Kubel was then intentionally walked and Suzuki doubled to left just out of the reach of Cruz to plate Colabello and Kubel.
Twins relievers Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar and Casey Fien combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit before Perkins entered the game.
The Orioles went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base ... Minnesota was 2-for-13 with RISP and stranded 11 runners ... The Twins open a four-game set against the Cleveland Indians on Monday ... Baltimore travels to Tampa Bay to start a three-game series on Tuesday against the Rays.