Bobby Wilson helped Kyle Gibson turn around his pitching after a rough first inning. Then [url=http://www.officialducks.com/authentic-adidas-corey-perry-jersey]Adidas Corey Perry Jersey[/url] , for at least one afternoon, the veteran catcher fixed his own struggles at the plate.
Wilson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Gibson recovered from a shaky first to throw seven innings, and the Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Saturday.
Max Kepler homered in his second straight game to help send the Twins to their third win in a row.
”You take them any way you can get them,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ”We haven’t had the luxury of any kind of run here as of late, so to start out the home stand with three, it feels pretty good.”
The Twins didn’t bring in Wilson for his offense – his two-hit day raised his batting average to .134 – so they’re not expecting him to deliver game-turning hits on a regular basis. But that’s exactly what he did with an RBI single in the fifth that made it 3-2, and a two-RBI double the next inning that proved the game-winner.
It was Wilson’s first multi-hit game since Sept. 21, 2016.
”I feel like I’ve been doing everything I can defensively but it’s time to start turning that corner and start contributing offensively as well,” Wilson said.
Earlier in the day, the team needed Wilson’s smarts behind the plate to recover from an early hole.
Gibson (3-6) allowed three runs in the first inning – including a two-run homer by Chris Davis – but only gave up two hits after that while striking out nine. It was Gibson’s highest strikeout total since fanning 10 batters on April 26 against the New York Yankees.
”After the first inning we sat down and I said `Gibby talk to me, what do we got to do? What’s going to turn this around?’ So we talked about a few things and we kind of stuck with that game plan for the rest of the game,” Wilson said.
Kepler’s solo shot off Kevin Gausman sparked a three-run fifth that tied it. Wilson’s two-run double off Miguel Castro (2-5) in the sixth gave Minnesota the lead for good.
Trevor Hildenberger worked a scoreless eighth for the Twins. Jace Peterson’s RBI double off Fernando Rodney pulled the Orioles to 5-4, but Rodney got Tim Beckham on a grounder to short to convert his 19th save in 24 chances.
The team with baseball’s worst record, meanwhile, lost its fifth in the row and fell 40 games below .500.
”It’s kind of hard to believe that’s where we’re at right now,” Davis said. ”I feel like anytime we start to build some momentum [url=http://www.officialducks.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-getzlaf-jersey]Adidas Ryan Getzlaf Jersey[/url] , we either give it right back to the other team or we do something to kind of take ourselves out of the game.”
That certainly seemed the case Saturday.
Coming off his best start of the season against the L.A. Angels, Gausman had a 3-0 lead before ever taking the mound and looked sharp early. Gausman faced the minimum number of batters through the first three innings, and allowed a single hit through the first four.
But things turned quickly in the fifth. With one out, Kepler homered to left-center, Robbie Grossman doubled, and Jake Cave and Wilson followed with singles. After Joe Mauer walked, Cave scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
”I don’t think I really got away from anything. They just did a good job of battling and put some long at-bats together, and fought some pitches off and really got my pitch count off.”
Gausman, who held the Angels to one run and two hits without a walk in eight innings last Sunday, didn’t return for the sixth.
The Orioles loaded the bases in the third with two outs, but Gibson struck out Danny Valencia swinging to end the threat. After that, Gibson allowed a leadoff double to Jonathan Schoop before retiring 10 in a row.
”We scored three in the first and then just didn’t do anything,” manager Buck Showalter said. We had a chance to open it up there, but that’s the hit that’s been eluding us to really get to that five or six-run lead.”
Orioles: OF Trey Mancini got a rare day off, but manager Buck Showalter said he was fine. The manager said it was more about getting Peterson a chance to play. Peterson went 1-for-3 on Saturday.
Davis’ strikeout against Hildenberger in the eighth was the 1,306th of his career, moving him past Cal Ripken [url=http://www.officialducks.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-kesler-jersey]Adidas Ryan Kesler Jersey[/url] , Jr. for Baltimore’s franchise record.
”You play long enough, you’re going to swing and miss enough to apparently set some records. There’s not really much to say about that,” Davis said.
Orioles: Alex Cobb (2-10) takes the mound for Baltimore in the finale. He hasn’t won since June 5 against the New York Mets.
Twins: Jake Odorizzi (3-6) makes his 19th start of the year as the Twins go for the sweep. His last outing against Baltimore was March 29, when he shut out the Orioles over six innings on two hits and two walks.
MILWAUKEE — For the Atlanta Braves, the big question as they headed from a long three-game series in Yankee Stadium to Milwaukee concerns the status of star first baseman Freddie Freeman.
All indications are Freeman will play the opener of a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, but it will not be official until the lineup card is posted Thursday afternoon at Miller Park.
“If you ask him, he’s going to say yes,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “But until we get there and see how it is, we won’t know. It was probably good that we got him out of there and started on some treatment.”
Freeman exited in the fourth inning of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Yankee Stadium with an upper right arm contusion. He was injured when he was hit in the third inning by CC Sabathia, and by pulling him early to get treatment, Freeman and the Braves hope the precautionary measure means he can play Thursday.
“Luckily, it didn’t hit my hand,” Freeman said. “I’ll take the elbow and a little soreness. As long as I have the strength in my arm tomorrow, I can deal with the pain.”
Atlanta is 4-2 on its 10-game trip. The Braves swept three games in St. Louis last weekend and took a 5-3, 11-inning victory over the Yankees on Monday before losing the last two games.
“I thought we handled ourselves really well,” Snitker said. “We won a really tough game the first night, we put ourselves in a position to win today and today here we come again. The guys never quit. They know they can play with anybody and it’s a good sign.”
Milwaukee (51-35) is the first team in the National League to reach 50 wins after completing a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 3-2 win on Wednesday.
Brad Miller and Nate Orf played roles in three close wins as Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell is employing a mix-and-match approach at shortstop. He is using that strategy while remaining optimistic that shortstop Orlando Arcia will rediscover his offensive stroke at Triple-A Colorado Springs and rejoin Milwaukee for a playoff push.
Miller has gotten off to a good start with the Brewers. He extended his hitting streak to nine games Wednesday and has a hit in 10 of 12 games since joining the team [url=http://www.officialcoyotes.com/authentic-adidas-clayton-keller-jersey]Adidas Clayton Keller Jersey[/url] , with a pair of home runs.
Orf was batting .307 with an .875 OPS when he was summoned Monday from Triple-A and recorded his first career hit with a solo home run against the Twins.
Both are immediate offensive upgrades to Arcia, who was slashing .197/.231/.482 but remained in the regular lineup because of his defensive ability.
While Miller saw extensive action at the position earlier in his career and Orf has spent most of the season there at Colorado Springs, neither player is a natural shortstop so Counsell was prepared to sacrifice defense to shore up the bottom of the order.
“When we sent Orlando down, we had multiple players on the roster who aren’t true shortstops so we’re trying to find guys who can play shortstop and who can kind of fill in at shortstop,” he said. “I don’t think we have an answer, but this is how we’re going to try it.”
A more stable solution could be coming soon. Tyler Saladino was on a roll before suffering a severe ankle sprain on May 29.
In 16 games with the Brewers, he batted .324 with three home runs and eight RBIs while playing defense well enough to make it possible for Milwaukee to send Arcia down a first time on May 25.
Saladino has been rehabbing for the last week and could rejoin the team in the next few days.
“Tyler will be back soon and will end up having some of the shortstop duties,” Counsell said. “We’ll sit down here soon and figure that out.”
The right-handed hitting Orf is likely to get the starting nod Thursday when the Brewers face Braves left-hander Max Fried.
Fried (1-2, 2.55 ERA) returned to the rotation last week when Brandon McCarthy was placed on the disabled list and struck out 11 over 6 2/3 innings and earned his first victory of the season as Atlanta beat the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Fried remained with the team after his last outing but didn’t learn for sure that he’d get another start until Wednesday morning. He’s looking forward to getting his first taste of meaningful action as the two winningest teams in the National League face off for the first time this season.
Milwaukee counters with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (6-3, 3.71) who bounced back from his worst outing of the season to hold the Cincinnati Reds to a run over five innings while striking out nine his last time out.
Signed to a two-year contract over the winter, Chacin has been a stabilizing force in the Brewers’ rotation. He leads the staff with 18 starts and 97 innings his season.
Chacin has pitched well against Atlanta throughout his career, posting a 3.94 ERA in six previous starts. Due to a lack of run support in those contests, is just 1-4 lifetime against the Braves.
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