Twins overpower Orioles, match team record with 8 home runs
With Rosario leading the way, the Twins hit 11 home runs in a doubleheader sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, squeezing out a 6-5 victory before cracking eight long balls in a 16-7 rout.
“Well, it was a nice night, probably one of the better offensive nights that I’ve maybe ever seen,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “From top to bottom our guys had quality at-bats and barreled up some balls. It seemed like it was contagious.”
The Twins won the first game behind Rosario, who went deep twice . Minnesota’s cleanup hitter added a two-run shot in the nightcap, making him the first Twins player to hit nine home runs in the team’s first 18 games.
Minnesota added another line to the record book in Game 2 when former Oriole Jonathan Schoop connected off first baseman-turned-pitcher Chris Davis in the ninth. It was the Twins’ eighth homer of the night, matching their single-game mark set on Aug. 29, 1963, against Washington.
In the opener, Rosario hit bases-empty drives off Dan Straily in the second and fifth innings — a suitable encore to his two-homer afternoon against Toronto on Thursday. He became the third Twins player to hit multiple homers in successive games, joining Kirby Puckett (1987) and Don Mincher (1963).
“I think sometimes when you’re doing something good in the game, everything happens good that you try. I feel really comfortable at the plate,” Rosario said. “The big names of the Minnesota Twins have done everything good for this organization. Kirby Puckett is a legend for the Twins, and I want to try to be there too.”
Rosario has 20 RBIs, and all nine of his home runs have come in his last 12 games.
After a tight first game in which Willians Astudillo hit a solo shot and Byron Buxton snapped a tie with a two-run double in the sixth inning, the Twins buried the Orioles under a barrage of home runs.
Cruz and C.J. Cron connected in the first inning off Alex Cobb (0-1). In the third, Rosario followed a double by Cruz with a shot to center and Garver hit a liner into the left-field seats off Mike Wright to make it 10-0.
Schoop added a three-run drive in the fourth. In the eighth, Garver and Cruz hit long balls to tarnish Branden Kline‘s major league debut.
Davis mopped up in the ninth for Baltimore with his first pitching appearance since May 2012.
Baltimore has allowed a major league-high 57 home runs in 22 games.
“I’ve never seen home runs given up like we do,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s something that we obviously have to improve on.”
Martin Pérez (2-0) gave up four runs in six innings for the Twins, who have won eight straight over Baltimore since falling on opening day last season.
Dwight Smith Jr., Renato Núñez and Pedro Severino homered for the Orioles in the first game. Núñez connected twice in the nightcap and Hanser Alberto added a two-run drive.
Playing the makeup of a game postponed by rain on Friday night, Minnesota took a 6-3 lead in the opener with a three-run sixth against Jimmy Yacabonis (1-1).
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 complete five innings. He gave up three homers, two doubles and a single.
Before his first game against the Orioles, Schoop said, “It’s weird, but it’s a good weird.” The second baseman was signed by Baltimore in 2008 and played six seasons with the Orioles before being traded to Milwaukee last summer.
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: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-0, 7.36 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season Sunday in the series finale.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (0-2, 7.79) has yielded 15 earned runs and seven HRs in four ineffective starts.