It was a pretty good start to a long day of baseball as the Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-3, to take their second straight game, and give Kevin Millwood a chance to secure a sweep of the doubleheader in the nightcap.
The Orioles got good starting pitching with Jeremy Guthrie allowing three earned runs, five hits and one walk while striking out five over 6 2/3 innings. It was Guthrie's first victory since Sept. 6, 2009.
"I strive to go out there and help our team win each time and it's nice to be able to contribute in the win," Guthrie said. "I'm excited for the team that we won two games in a row and we have a chance to get the doubleheader sweep tonight, I think that would be really big for us."
The Orioles got more quality work out of their bullpen as Will Ohman pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Koji Uehara turned in a scoreless ninth, allowing just one hit.
Offensively, the Orioles tallied five runs on 10 hits and a walk in six innings against talented Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, who had given up three runs in the entire month of April.
"He doesn't give up a lot of runs," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "I remember managing against him when he was in Triple-A and I bunted off him in the first inning because we weren't going to get a whole lot of runs off him. He's tough, he's very tough. But sometimes you have to find a way and sometimes the breaks got to go your way. They did today. We've been hitting a lot of balls on the button and they're not falling in. We got some balls today that didn't exactly look pretty, but they gave us good results."
Every starter had at least a hit except corner infielders Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins, who combined to go 0-for-9. No matter, the Orioles went 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position and scored six of their seven runs with two outs. Leadoff man Julio Lugo, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Cesar Izturis all had at least two hits, and Markakis drove in three runs.
"It's tough, you face him sometimes and he's throwing hard, he's got his slider," Markakis said. "But I think for the most part with two outs, guys were getting good pitches to hit. We were hitting his mistake pitches, which was good."