Rosario, Twins down Orioles 6-5 in opener of doubleheader
BALTIMORE — Eddie Rosario is making long-ball history for the Minnesota Twins.
Rosario homered twice for a second consecutive game, Byron Buxton hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth inning and the Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 Saturday in the opener of a doubleheader.
Rosario delivered solo shots off Dan Straily in the second and fifth innings, a suitable encore to his two-homer afternoon against Toronto on Thursday. He is the first player in Twins history to hit eight home runs in the team’s first 17 games, and only the third to hit multiple homers in successive games, joining Kirby Puckett (1987) and Don Mincher (1963).
After rain washed out Friday night’s series opener, Rosario hit two homers and a double in his first three at-bats in the makeup game.
“I don’t think Eddie lets anything get to him, whether he’s going really good or the opposite,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I think he believes in himself so much that he’s always ready. He goes up there even after having good swing after good swing and never takes himself out of an at-bat.”
Rosario’s eighth career multihomer game gave him 18 RBIs. All eight of his home runs have come in his last 11 games.
The left fielder also made a leaping catch at the wall to take away an extra-base hit from Chris Davis.
Willians Astudillo went deep for the Twins, who have won seven straight over Baltimore.
Dwight Smith Jr., Renato Núñez and Pedro Severino homered for the Orioles.
Playing the makeup of a game postponed by rain on Friday night, Minnesota took a 6-3 lead with a three-run sixth against Jimmy Yacabonis (1-1). A hit batter and double by Jason Castro preceded a double to right by Buxton, the No. 9 hitter, and Nelson Cruz capped the uprising with an RBI single off Miguel Castro.
“His command wasn’t there like it has been,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Yac’s been pretty good for us; today just wasn’t his day.”
Down 6-5 in the eighth, Baltimore got runners on second and third with two outs before Taylor Rogers struck out Smith.
Rogers struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.
José Berríos (3-1) gave up all three Baltimore home runs but made it through six innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and three walks.
Straily needed 98 pitches to get through five innings. He gave up three homers, two doubles and a single.
2B Jonathan Schoop faced his former team for the first time since being traded to Milwaukee last summer. Schoop was signed by Baltimore in 2008 and played six seasons with the Orioles. Looking across the field from the visiting dugout, Schoop said, “I see some guys I played with, and I see some guys who were in the minor leagues like Cedric (Mullins), guys that were coming up. It’s a new team, but there are a few old teammates in there. It’s weird, but it’s a good weird.” He went 1 for 3 with a double.
The Twins added RHP Fernando Romero as the 26th man in Game 2, and Baltimore went with RHP Branden Kline, who has never pitched in the majors. “I know it’s a big deal for him and family,” Hyde said.
Twins: RHP Matt Magill (right shoulder tendinitis) showed no ill effects after pitching one inning for Triple-A Rochester on April 16. “All the reports that we’ve had were positive,” Baldelli said.
Orioles: RHP Nate Karns (right forearm strain) was slated to pitch an inning for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday. The plan is for him to pitch another inning in a few days, two innings the next time “and then we’ll see where he is after that,” Hyde said.
Twins: LHP Martin Pérez (1-0, 5.02 ERA) started the nightcap, his fifth appearance and second start with Minnesota after signing as a free agent in January.
Orioles: RHP Alex Cobb (lumbar strain) was activated from the injured list to pitch in the second game.