Orioles slug their way to another victory on Wednesday
MINNEAPOLIS — The Baltimore Orioles lineup is built to go big, and that's just what they have been doing over the past three games, rain or shine.
Mark Trumbo hit two home runs and the Orioles hit back-to-back homers for the third straight game in a 9-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Adam Jones had four hits, including a two-run homer in the ninth, and Chris Davis also went deep and drove in four runs for the first-place Orioles, who have won four straight. Tyler Wilson (2-1) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings.
On a chilly, rainy day in a ballpark that plays big, the Orioles swung bigger.
"We obviously have a lot of power in our lineup," Davis said. "I think guys have really had good at-bats these last couple of days, not just going up there hacking, but looking for a pitch to drive and haven't been missing them."
Miguel Sano hit his fourth homer for the Twins (8-25), who have lost seven straight games. Phil Hughes (1-6) allowed five runs and six hits while lasting just four innings in another terrible start for the worst team in the American League.
The 3-4-5 hitters for the Orioles — Jones, Davis and Trumbo — went 10 for 15 with four homers, nine RBIs and seven runs scored.
"There's a lot of guys in this league that could hit some of the pitches out that I was throwing up there today," Hughes said. "It's what they do. A big lineup that can hurt you with one swing."
Trumbo opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the second inning, and then recorded his third multihomer game of the season when he followed Davis' two-run shot in the fourth with his 11th homer.
The Orioles became the 15th team in big league history to hit back-to-back home runs in three straight games. If they pull it off again on Thursday back home, they will join the 1964 Minnesota Twins as the only teams to do it four times.
"I think the last couple games have been really strong and kind of what we're hoping for," Trumbo said. "I think it gives our pitchers little more peace of mind, probably, to know that good thing are going to happen."
It all came at the expense of Hughes, who has seen the velocity on his fastball drop significantly over his past three starts in which he has lasted a combined 11 innings. He only made it two innings in his previous start, and the inability of the starters to pitch deeper into games has heavily taxed Minnesota's bullpen just six weeks into the season.
Pat Dean made his big league debut in relief of Hughes, giving up two runs in 2 2/3 innings.
In his second game in the leadoff spot, Minnesota's Joe Mauer had two hits.
Wilson allowed a homer to Sano in the second inning and an RBI single to Danny Santana in the fifth, but was hardly touched the rest of his outing by the slumping Twins offense.
"When you don't have your best command it's important to get contact early in counts," Wilson said. "And on top of that, I didn't want to get deep on guys when it's raining out there. I wanted to give my team a chance to make plays behind me, which they did all day, like they always do."
Orioles: RHP Brad Bach was available to pitch one day after getting hit in the right leg by a line drive. Bach had a bruise on the back of his leg, but otherwise was unharmed.
Twins: Closer Glen Perkins (left shoulder strain) will throw his first bullpen on May 23. If all goes well the hope is he will be back sometime in early to mid-June.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-3, 4.54 ERA) will open a four-game series in Baltimore against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 6.23 ERA) will start for Detroit.
Twins: After a day off on Thursday, they start a series in Cleveland on Friday. RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 4.70 ERA) will start the opener against Indians RHP Josh Tomlin (5-0, 3.72 ERA).