American League Game Summary - Minnesota at Baltimore
(Monday, September 1)
Final Score: Minnesota 6, Baltimore 4
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Mauer had three hits and four RBI, two of which came on a tie-breaking single in the eighth inning, as the Minnesota Twins avoided a four-game sweep by the Baltimore Orioles with a 6-4 victory.
Minnesota's three-run eighth helped Phil Hughes (15-9) join the Angels' Jered Weaver and Detroit's Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello as the American League's lone 15-game winners this season. The right-hander fired eight strong innings and allowed just five hits and three runs, all of which were unearned after an error in the seventh preceded Nick Hundley's game-tying homer.
"That's a good team over there, so to get that lead with the way Phil was pitching and then for them to tie it up and us to respond was great," Mauer said. "To come back and get this win will make for a better plane ride, for sure."
Glen Perkins served up a solo homer to Nelson Cruz in the ninth before holding on to record his 33rd save.
Mauer delivered a two-run triple earlier in the day, while Kennys Vargas went 2-for-3 with two RBI in only Minnesota's second win in its last nine.
Kevin Gausman (7-7) struck out seven over 7 1/3 innings for the AL East- leading Orioles, who had won four straight coming in, but was dealt the loss after being charged with five runs -- four earned.
Hundley's two-out blast with a pair of runners aboard in the seventh knotted the score at 3-3, but the deadlock would be short-lived. Gausman walked Jordan Schafer to start the eighth and Baltimore's Jimmy Paredes mishandled a grounder off the bat of Danny Santana to place two in scoring position for Mauer, who greeted reliever Andrew Miller with a sharp single to left to bring in both.
Vargas followed with a single up the middle to send home Mauer for a 6-3 advantage.
Cruz clubbed his major league-best 36th homer of the season to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but Perkins regrouped to retire the next three Orioles to close out the contest.
While the game featured plenty of scoring late, both starters were well in control through the first five innings of play. Hughes yielded just a pair of singles to that point and Gausman also gave up just two hits until the Twins broke through in the sixth.
Santana and Brian Dozier each singled in front of Mauer's triple off the left- field wall that broke the scoreless deadlock. Vargas then lifted a sacrifice fly to center to stake Minnesota to a 3-0 lead.
Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe threw wildly to second after fielding J.J. Hardy's chopper in the seventh, however, putting runners at the corners and giving Baltimore its best threat of the day. Chris Davis was then thrown out at home trying to score on a Paredes grounder, but Hundley was able to drill a spinning cutter from Hughes into the stands in left to temporarily tie things up.
"(Hughes) had been throwing (the cutter) really well," said Hundley. "That one he kind of left out over the plate and fortunately I didn't miss it."
Hardy was removed after seven innings due to back spasms ... Hughes did not walk a batter for a fourth straight start and has issued one free pass or less in 17 consecutive outings ... Dozier's single in the sixth extended his hitting streak to 11 games ... Davis finished with two of Baltimore's six hits.
09/01 19:23:41 ET