Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott knew the score when he went up to the plate in the fourth inning last night, and it wasn't just 3-0. The important thing at that point was to make those three runs stand up for another nine outs after the first of several rain delays.
So Scott swung at the first pitch in the bottom of the fourth and launched a 398-foot shot into the right-center field bleachers to make it a four-run ballgame, then embarked on one of the fastest home run trots of his career. There wasn't a moment to waste with the clouds threatening to open up at any time.
"Absolutely,'' he said. "I wanted to get it as soon as possible. I was in ambush mode the whole time."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't thrilled that the umpires insisted on squeezing five innings out of such a horribly inclement evening, but the Orioles need all the help they can get at this point. It was their second victory in their last three games, but only the fifth in their last 20.
"The key thing was, Minnesota only comes in here one time,'' said Dave Trembley, "so everybody wanted to get it in so we wouldn't have to play a doubleheader on a getaway day."
Well, not quite everybody.
Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam