Orioles emphatically end losing streak
As the losses continued to mount, the Baltimore Orioles kept believing the next night would be the one in which they broke out of their miserable skid.
When it finally happened, the fashion in which the Orioles ended their eight-game losing streak was nothing short of spectacular.
Matt Wieters had four RBIs, Vladimir Guerrero homered, and Baltimore scored all its runs with two outs in an 11-0 rout of the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Jake Arrieta (2-1) pitched six innings of four-hit ball for the Orioles, who built an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning and coasted to their first win in 10 days after a 6-1 start. The 11 runs and 13 hits were season highs.
''You go through things like this with real good clubs and with bad clubs,'' manager Buck Showalter said of the losing streak. ''This one had a different feel to it for me, and I still feel that way. There was a real confident (mentality). The frustration was due to knowing they were capable of doing better.''
Twins starter Carl Pavano (1-2) gave up seven earned runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. The right-hander had allowed only one run in his previous 16 innings.
''It was just one of those days. My ball seemed pretty flat. It didn't have much movement,'' Pavano said. ''It was a battle all night. I didn't have great stuff coming out of the pen and never got into any rhythm.''
And the Orioles knew it.
''We know what Pavano's got - he's a pitcher that pitches,'' said Adam Jones, who had two hits and scored twice. ''We just got him out of his rhythm and were able to scrape away some runs with two outs. That's big.''
As the hip-hop music blared in the clubhouse, Jones and the Orioles looked ahead to better times.
''We've got a winning streak of one right now,'' he said. ''When was that eight-game losing streak? It's out of my mind.''
Wieters delivered an RBI single in the third inning, a three-run double in the fifth and scored a career-high three runs.
Guerrero's second homer of the season, an opposite-field shot to right, came with two on in the eighth inning on a 3-1 pitch from struggling reliever Joe Nathan.
Arrieta walked three, struck out four and lowered his ERA from 7.04 to 5.06. It was the second time in 22 career starts that he did not allow a run.
''I struggled tonight with some things but made some pitches in big situations and was able to get out of some jams,'' he said.
The right-hander was facing a last-place Minnesota team that ranked 30th in the majors in runs. The loss ended the Twins' first winning streak of the season at two.
Minnesota was without Delmon Young and Justin Morneau, both of whom have been experiencing flulike symptoms. Morneau has sat out three straight games and Young, who also has a sore rib cage, missed his first game of the year.
Plus, Joe Mauer is on the disabled list, which left manager Ron Gardenhire with very few options.
''Right now, the challenge is getting my lineup out there, to get my guys back on the field,'' Gardenhire said. ''We've got a few too many holes out there. We need our boys to get back on the field. Whether we're going to be able to do that (Wednesday), I'm not positive.''
Baltimore scored three runs in the second after Pavano got two quick outs. Jones started the uprising with an infield hit, Mark Reynolds walked on four pitches and Wieters delivered an RBI single. Then, after Robert Andino walked to load the bases, Brian Roberts bounced a two-run single up the middle.
The Orioles struck again in the fourth after Pavano retired the first two batters. Wieters was hit by a pitch and Andino singled before Roberts doubled in a run for a 4-0 lead.
Baltimore pulled away with a four-run fifth. After two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, Wieters worked the count full before hitting a double off the right-field scoreboard. After Pavano was pulled, Wieters scored on a throwing error by shortstop Alexi Casilla.
Notes: Wieters is 5 for 5 with eight RBIs this season with runners in scoring position. ... Young's absence means Danny Valencia and Jason Kubel are the only Twins to play in every game. ... Baltimore's Nick Markakis went 0 for 4 and has only one hit in his last 20 at-bats. ... Andino had three hits for his third straight multihit game.