BALTIMORE 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Tuesday, July 29.
Batting stars: Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a walk, and three RBIs. Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Michael Restovich was 2-for-4 with a double.
Pitching star: James Baldwin pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Jay Gibbons was 2-for-3 with a home run (his sixteenth), a walk, and three RBIs. Tony Batista was 2-for-4 with a home run, his nineteenth. Jeff Conine was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Luis Matos was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his thirteenth) and two runs.
The game: The Orioles jumped out to a lead in the first inning. Matos singled and scored from first on Conine's double. Gibbons hit a two-out two-run homer, and it was 3-0 Baltimore before the Twins even came to bat.
The Twins got on the board in the third when Stewart hit a two-out double and Rivas followed with a two-run homer. Batista homered leading off the fourth to make it 4-2. The Twins got that run back in the bottom of the fourth but missed a chance for more. Torii Hunter led off with a double and went to third on A. J. Pierzynski's single, but Jacque Jones hit into a double play. It scored the run but took the Twins out of the inning, leaving the Orioles ahead 4-3.
The Twins tied it in the fifth when Chris Gomez singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Rivas single. But Baltimore went right back into the lead in the sixth when Matos singled, stole second, and scored on a Gibbons single. The Twins tied it again in the seventh when Restovich led off with a double and scored on Cristian Guzman's single.
But in the eighth the Orioles went into the lead to stay. Singles by Conine and Batista put men on first and third and a wild pitch scored a run. They added an insurance run in the ninth on singles by Larry Bigbie and Deivi Cruz and an error. The Twins put men on first and second with none out in the eighth and with two out in the ninth, but did not score.
WP: Hector Carrasco (1-2). LP: LaTroy Hawkins (8-3). S: Jorge Julio (24).
Notes: Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie. Stewart was in left, with Restovich in right and Jones as the DH.
Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth but did not bat. A pitching change prompted Ron Gardenhire to then bat Todd Sears for LeCroy.
This was Restovich's season debut. He had appeared in eight games for the Twins in 2002. After this game, he was batting .500. Stewart raised his average to .311. Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .310.
Johan Santana's transition to the rotation was not going as hoped. In four starts, he had allowed 14 runs in 24.1 innings. In this game, he allowed five runs on six hits and no walks in 5.2 innings. He did strike out seven.
Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.00. Hawkins gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.63.
Stewart was staying hot. In his last ten games he was 20-for-42 with four doubles, a home run, and five walks. He raised his average from .289 to .311.
Baltimore players with Twins connections included Tony Batista, Hector Carrasco, and Rick Helling.
The Twins had lost three games in a row and continued to sink more deeply into third place.
Record: The Twins were 51-54, in third place in the American league Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City. They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.