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Twins rally past Orioles on Byron Buxton’s ninth-inning homer

Luis Arraez started the inning with a single off Baltimore closer Jorge Lopez

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) reacts after hitting a two-run walk-off home run against Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Jorge Lopez (not pictured) during the ninth inning on Friday, July 1, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports
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Luis Arraez hit a leadoff single in the ninth inning, and Byron Buxton followed with his 21st home run of the season as the Twins rallied past Baltimore, 3-2, on Friday night in front of 25,540 at Target Field.

Arraez singled to right field off Orioles closer Jorge Lopez, and Buxton drove a pitch into the left field bleachers as the Twins snapped a two-game losing streak.

Buxton’s blast saved the Twins’ beleaguered bullpen from another loss. Left-hander Caleb Thielbar had relieved starter Joe Ryan with the game tied 1-1 in the eighth and surrendered a run.

Minnesota’s bullpen was 0-4 with six blown saves in the Twins’ previous five losses, but this time it did just enough to give the team a chance in the ninth inning. Juan Minaya, called up from Triple-A St. Paul before the game, pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings for his first victory.

Lopez (3-4) took the loss and blown save, his third in 16 save opportunities.

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After holding the Orioles to one run on two hits and a walk over seven innings, Ryan went to the dugout with the game tied 1-1 and the middle of the Twins order due up.

Orioles reliever Cionel Perez retired Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Jose Miranda 1-2-3, and Thielbar gave up a double to Ryan McKenna on his first pitch. McKenna moved to third on a groundout to second and scored from third on a grounder to second.

Minnesota loaded the bases with one out in the first inning but managed just one run. Arraez started the game with a double and after Buxton struck out and moved to third on a single by Carlos Correa.

Kepler walked to load the bases, and Miranda followed with a single to left that scored Arraez for a 1-0 lead. Correa, trying to score from second on the play, was cut down at the plate after McKenna wired a perfect throw to catcher Adley Rutschman to end the inning.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan (41) throws a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning on Friday, July 1, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports

The Orioles tied the game 1-1 in the third inning when shortstop Jorge Mateo drew a two-out walk and scored on a double by center fielder Cedric Mullins.

From there, the starters took complete control.

Baltimore right-hander Spenser Watkins retired the Twins’ next 15 batters, and Perez made it 18 straight with a 1-2-3 seventh. He was charged with one run on three hits and a walk and struck out five.

Twins right-hander Ryan, meanwhile, was cruising.

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After allowing the third inning run, he retired 13 of the Orioles’ next 14 batters – surrendering only Ryan Mountcastle’s one-out double in the fourth – and fanned five of the last six he faced. Ryan left after seven innings, tagged for just one run on two hits and a walk. He fanned seven.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa (4) is tagged out at home by Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman (35) on an RBI single by Minnesota Twins first baseman Jose Miranda (not pictured) during the first inning on Friday, July 1, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA TWINS
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