The Orioles jumped out to another big lead Monday night, but that has not been a source of great comfort for the team or its fans.
Apparently, it's a lot easier to get way ahead than to stay there, as starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez proved again after a three-run home run by Adam Jones gave the Orioles a five-run advantage in the second inning of their series opener against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards.
The Twins answered by scoring in each of the next three innings and knocking Jimenez out of the game with a four-run fifth that tied the score and left room to wonder whether any early-inning advantage would be big enough for him.
Then Minnesota scored six runs in the sixth to turn a potential Orioles blowout into a real embarrassment. By the time it was over, the Twins would win by a football score, 14-7, before what was left of an announced crowd of 12,882.
Lest anyone forget, the Orioles were riding a six-game winning streak two weeks ago when the Washington Nationals rallied with five runs in the final two innings to score a dramatic comeback victory at Nationals Park. Four days later, Kevin Gausman could not hold a 5-0 lead against the Kansas City Royals and two days after that, both Wade Miley and the bullpen allowed big innings to blow a 7-1 lead over the Detroit Tigers in a game the Orioles won in extra innings.
Of course the biggest blowup came in late April, when the Orioles lost a game in New York in which they held a 9-1 lead in the sixth inning.
Still, it probably doesn't get any worse than this.
Adam's all alone: Jones' towering home run into the left-field bleachers in the second inning was his eighth of the year and his record-breaking 125th home run at Oriole Park.
He tied Rafael Palmeiro for the career lead Sunday. Palmeiro's total of 124 includes those hit while he was a member of the Texas Rangers, but he reached that number in significantly fewer at-bats than Jones.
Hardy's hacking: Shortstop J.J. Hardy came back from most of a day off Sunday to hit safely in each of his first two at-bats.
He singled home the second run of the game in the second inning and bounced a double off third base to lead off the fourth. Manny Machado eventually doubled him home for the Orioles' sixth run.
Video follies: Buck Showalter used up his manager's challenge in a hurry Monday night.
He challenged a fair call on a leadoff double by Brian Dozier after replays seemed to show that the hooking liner down the left-field line landed about an inch foul.
Third base umpire Stu Scheurwater's call was upheld and Dozier eventually came around to score the Twins' first run.