Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Twins belt 11 total home runs in doubleheader sweep of Orioles

Former O's Cruz, Schoop pounce on former club

April 21, 2019 - 1:05 am
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By Jake McDonnell 

Game 1 - 6-5 MIN

Just like he did on Monday in Boston, Orioles starting pitcher Dan Straily tossed five innings. But this outing was not nearly as clean. Straily allowed three solo home runs, two of them by left fielder Eddie Rosario. Rosario hit back-to-back dingers with Willians Astudillo in the second inning. The latter long ball, which came in the fifth inning, tied the game at 3 after Dwight Smith Jr. (2-run) and Renato Nunez (solo) hit back-to-back bombs in the third.

Jimmy Yacabonis came on for the sixth frame. The first pitch he threw hit former Oriole Jonathan Schoop in the back. Then Jason Castro and Bryon Buxton hit back-to-back doubles that resulted in two runs, breaking the tie and putting the Twins up 5-3. Miguel Castro replaced Yacabonis two outs later. The first batter Castro faced, Nelson Cruz (another former Oriole), knocked in Buxton on a single to make it 6-3 Minnesota.

In the bottom of the sixth, Pedro Severino hit his second home run in as many games. Trey Mancini’s two-out eighth inning double made it a 6-5 game, but then Smith Jr. struck out with the tying run on third. In the ninth, Minnesota reliever Taylor Rogers fanned Nunez, Jesus Sucre, and Hanser Alberto to complete the two-inning save.  

Game 2: 16-7 MIN

Alex Cobb’s return from the 10-day injured list (lumbar strain) went the opposite of how the veteran right-hander wanted it to. Cobb, who also landed on the IL during Spring Training with a groin issue, allowed nine earned runs over just 2.2 innings. He gave up 10 hits, including three home runs and four doubles.

The two-run dinger that Cruz blasted in the first inning marked the 50th home run that the Orioles have surrendered this season. The 2019 O’s join the 1996 Detroit Tigers in the department of teams that allowed 50 home runs before May 1.

By the end of the fourth inning, that home run total reached 54. Interestingly enough, the 54th home run allowed (a three-run shot to left-center off Mike Wright), came off the bat of another former Oriole, Jonathan Schoop. It was the 56th jack that Schoop has delivered at Camden Yards, but his first as a visiting player. His second slam of the evening came in the ninth inning against Chris Davis, who pitched for the first time since May 6, 2012 when he earned the save in a 17-inning 9-6 win over the Red Sox.

A great moment occurred in the seventh inning when right-hander Branden Kline made his Major League debut. Kline, who was Baltimore’s 26th man for Saturday’s twin bill, is a native of Frederick and attended Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Kline retired the side in the seventh inning but surrendered two solo homers in the eighth.

Offensively, Nunez hit two home runs accumulating three RBI. Nunez came into the afternoon with two home runs on the season. He will enter Sunday with five. Alberto hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning, giving him his first Major League long ball in 224 plate appearances dating back to 2015.

Up next

Tomorrow’s series finale with the Twins begins at 1:05 p.m. from Camden Yards. The pitching matchup is Kyle Gibson (0-0, 7.36 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (0-2, 7.79 ERA). On Tuesday, Bundy cruised through his first three frames against Tampa Bay but took the loss after giving up three runs in the fourth inning.

Notes from the farm

  • Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run home run in the first game of the Norfolk Tides doubleheader against the Charlotte Knights. In his last six games, Mountcastle has tallied four homers.
  • The Tides also got some nice work from their two starting pitchers today. In Charlotte’s 6-5 Game 1 win, Yefry Ramirez pitched five scoreless one-hit innings, racking up seven strikeouts. Josh Rogers allowed one earned run over six innings with four strikeouts as the Tides won 5-2 in Game 2.  

Follow Jake on Twitter @JMcDonnell95