Orioles 5, Twins 4

Zach Britton’s voice was raspy, his face pale.

The Baltimore Orioles rookie felt awful, yet he still managed to

get through six gritty innings in a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota

Twins on Wednesday night.

”Yeah, I am exhausted. I was hacking up I don’t even know what

in the dugout. I am pretty weak,” Britton said by his locker. ”My

body felt really good. It’s really my throat, and obviously my

voice is gone. I felt pretty good, but now I am feeling worn

out.”

Britton (3-1) gave up three runs, five hits and three walks in

helping the Orioles win a second straight after an eight-game

skid.

”He obviously wasn’t 100 percent tonight. You could hear him

wheezing in the dugout,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”But I’m

sure the Minnesota Twins don’t want to hear it.”

Minnesota was again without Justin Morneau and Delmon Young,

both of whom are battling the flu. Morneau has missed four straight

games, Young hasn’t played since Monday and the short-handed Twins

also have gone eight consecutive games without injured Joe Mauer

(leg).

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau was trying to

muster up enough strength to get one late at-bat.

”He was out there at the end of the game telling me that if we

get a chance to win, he could do it,” Gardenhire said. ”It was

scary. He wanted to give it a shot.”

Matt Wieters and Vladimir Guerrero homered for the Orioles, who

also got two RBIs from Adam Jones.

Baltimore led 5-1 after three innings, an almost insurmountable

lead against a team that ranks last in the majors in runs.

Minnesota is the only club in baseball that has not yet scored more

than five runs in a game this season.

”We haven’t been swinging the bats well,” Gardenhire said,

”but I liked the way the guys got after it.”

Wieters’ two-run drive gave him six RBIs over a two-game span.

Guerrero’s homer was his second in two games and third this

year.

Wieters, Guerrero and Jones led the way, but six different

players got hits for Baltimore.

”That’s the big thing what we have to do, just pass it along to

the next guy,” Wieters said. ”If you just keep passing it along

to the next guy, then you’re going to score a lot of runs.”

After Britton left, Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara followed before

Kevin Gregg worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

Michael Cuddyer homered for the Twins and Danny Valencia went 2

for 4 with three RBIs. But last-place Minnesota fell to 6-12.

”We’re not playing awful baseball,” starter Nick Blackburn

said. ”A couple breaks here and there and things would be

different. Right now we’re missing a couple of pretty good guys

from our lineup, but I don’t think anyone has given up.”

Blackburn (1-3) yielded five runs and seven hits in seven

innings. He’s 11-27 in 56 career road games compared to 22-12 at

home.

Cuddyer led off the second inning with his first homer,

increasing Minnesota’s major league-low total to six. The Twins

then put runners at second and third with two outs before Matt

Tolbert popped out.

Baltimore took control with four runs in the bottom half. After

Jones doubled in two runs, Wieters hit a drive into the

center-field bleachers. Wieters is 6 for 6 with 10 RBIs with

runners in scoring position.

Guerrero connected in the third for a 5-1 lead.

Valencia came through with a two-out, two-run single in the

sixth and added a two-out RBI single off Uehara in the eighth.

NOTES: Baltimore’s Nick Markakis broke a 1-for-21 skid with a

third-inning single. … Valencia is 10 for 21 lifetime against

Baltimore. … Minnesota’s Jim Thome went 0 for 2 with two walks,

lowering his batting average to .163. … Baltimore has won two of

three in the series that concludes Thursday, meaning the Twins have

gone six series this year without winning one.