Orioles 6, Twins 1

On a night the Baltimore Orioles should have been celebrating

another win, the silence in their locker room spoke about

priorities.

Mark Reynolds homered to start a five-run fifth inning, Jeremy

Guthrie pitched seven strong innings and the Orioles beat the

Minnesota Twins 6-1 on Wednesday night.

But the loss of legendary pitcher Mike Flanagan justifiably

overshadowed the win.

”The Orioles lost a real source of wisdom, and it’s just hard

to imagine not getting to see him now and then,” manager Buck

Showalter said, fighting back tears.

At different stages of his life, Flanagan was a pitcher, front

office executive and television broadcaster for the Orioles.

When Flanagan was the vice-president of baseball operations he

signed Guthrie in January 2007. Guthrie wears the same number that

Flanagan did.

”Since the day I was given the number 46 I’ve had thousands of

people tell me that that was the number of their favorite pitcher

for the Orioles when they were growing up,” Guthrie said. ”From

day one I think I’ve been reminded of the legacy and the work that

Mike did not only as a player, but as a member of the community in

Baltimore. So, it’s always been special and now I think it takes on

a new level. He’s not going to be forgotten soon. That’s for

sure.”

Guthrie and many of the Orioles found out mid-game about

Flanagan’s passing.

”Once you’re on the mound you realize the task at hand and you

try to focus on that. I wouldn’t say so much it was a distraction

from pitch to pitch as much as just kind of a heaviness from inside

during the game,” Guthrie said.

Baltimore has won three straight games for the first time since

winning four in a row from June 6-10. The Orioles have outscored

Minnesota 18-3 in the three games.

Justin Morneau had an RBI double for the Twins, who have lost

six of seven and 18 of their last 23 overall. Minnesota is 2 1/2

games ahead of last-place Kansas City in the AL Central.

Guthrie (6-16) has been dealing with some right shoulder

soreness, and had given up 16 earned runs in his last three starts.

The right-hander found his rhythm against a punchless Minnesota

offense, allowing five hits and striking out five, the same number

he struck out in his last three starts combined.

He wiggled out of a first-inning jam thanks to a diving two-out,

bases-loaded stop by second baseman Ryan Adams and gave up

consecutive doubles in the third before retiring 12 straight.

”I was able to keep the ball down for the most part,” he said.

”If you get the ball down in the zone and maybe get some

swing-throughs and maybe swing over it and keep the ball on the

ground. For the most part, I was able to do that and command the

fastball enough to keep them off balance and make them miss at a

few pitches.”

Michael Gonzalez struck out all three batters he faced in the

eighth and has struck out all seven batters he’s faced this

series.

In what has become an audition for 2012, Kevin Slowey (0-2) had

his second straight unimpressive start for the Twins, allowing five

earned runs in 4 2-3 innings. He allowed six earned runs and nine

hits – including two home runs – in 5 2-3 innings against the

Yankees on Friday.

Minnesota starters are 2-11 in their last 19 starts – with both

wins by Francisco Liriano.

Slowey, who wants to be a starter in Minnesota or elsewhere next

season, allowed one hit through four innings before Reynolds led

off the fifth inning with a home run inside the left-field foul

pole. After a single by Jake Fox, Nolan Reimold had an RBI triple

and Adams added an RBI double. A two-run double by Matt Wieters

ended Slowey’s night.

”It’s really frustrating to feel like mechanically I’d thrown

well up to that point and then to just have an inning and really

bury the team. We’ve been really scrapping lately and for me to go

out there and give up five, it’s just really disappointing,”

Slowey said.

J.J. Hardy scored on a wild pitch in the ninth.

Minnesota right fielder Michael Cuddyer left the game in the

first inning with a left wrist injury after being hit by a pitch

from Guthrie. X-rays were negative and an MRI is expected to be

done Thursday morning. Cuddyer leads the team in home runs and

RBIs.

”It got him right on the wrist bone. … He’s sore but

hopefully there won’t be anything in there,” manager Ron

Gardenhire said.

NOTES: Baltimore 3B Robert Andino made a barehanded catch of a

foul pop-up by Morneau near the stands in the sixth inning. … The

Orioles last won three straight in Minnesota Sept. 7-9, 1999. …

Baltimore CF Adam Jones was back in the starting lineup after

leaving Tuesday night’s game with an illness. ”I feel 100

percent,” he said. … Orioles DH Vladimir Guerrero was a late

scratch with a left wrist contusion. … Jim Thome, the reigning AL

Player of the Week, went 0 for 4 and is 1 for his last 13. …

Liriano (9-9) takes the hill for Thursday’s matinee. He threw seven

innings of three-hit ball Saturday against the Yankees, allowing no

earned runs. … Jo-Jo Reyes (6-10) is scheduled to start for

Baltimore. In three starts for the Orioles since being picked up on

waivers, Reyes has allowed 10 earned runs in 15 innings.