Posts Tagged ‘Buck Showalter’

Reyes, Tatum, Reynolds lift Orioles to sweep

August 25, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — Less than 24 hours later, it did not get much easier for the Orioles to deal with the news of the death of former Orioles pitcher, executive and broadcaster Mike Flanagan.

But with that still weighing heavily on their minds on Thursday, the series finale at Target Field provided a good escape, as the Orioles completed a sweep of a struggling Twins squad with a 6-1 victory.

“Today was a tough day for everybody,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “I think it was almost a little bit of a haven for everybody to get out there on the field and play a game as quickly as we had to.

“I’m sure there will be some reflective moments from here to Baltimore, especially when we get closer to the ballpark where we’re so used to seeing Mike every day.”

But even with all the club dealt with off the field over the four days in Minnesota, it still put together an impressive series on the field.

For once, the Orioles caught a team that was down and kept it down, while bouncing back from some struggles of their own.

When the O’s arrived at Target Field on Monday, they had lost five in a row, while the Twins had lost three of four heading into the series. As the Orioles left on Thursday, they had their first four-game winning streak since June 6-10, and the Twins had dropped nine of their past 11 home games.

“We didn’t see [Joe] Mauer for a couple days, and [Justin] Morneau’s not quite where he’s going to be,” said Showalter. “We were fortunate, but we took advantage of it. There have been a few times this year we haven’t been able to do that.”

The sweep was the first for the Orioles against the Twins since the club relocated from Washington to Minnesota in 1961.

The Orioles last completed a four-game sweep at Texas on July 8-11, 2010, and the O’s last won at least four straight on the road Aug. 27-Sept. 7, 2010, when they won three at Angel Stadium and two in New York.

“You have to have the mentality of going out there and playing hard,” said Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer. “There is no such thing as ‘Woe is me’ in baseball. The Orioles didn’t care. They came out here and kicked our butts for four games. So nobody is going to feel sorry for you.”

Orioles lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went six innings, allowing one run on five hits and four walks while striking out three batters. It was the first start since July 8 that Reyes did not allow a home run.

After battling back spasms leading up to the start, Reyes said he did not feel as well physically as usual, but he still managed to deliver a solid outing.

“I thought the sixth inning was big,” Showalter said. “I thought he had the stuff to get a little deeper, but it was a good finish to a challenging road trip for us in a lot of ways.”

The Orioles held the Twins to just one run per game over the four-game series, the first time they’ve held an opponent to one or fewer runs over four consecutive games since the first four games of the season.

While the Orioles’ pitching staff has struggled throughout the season, it was impressive at Target Field, posting a 1.00 ERA with 32 strikeouts.

“The whole team wants to finish strong,” Reyes said. “We’re not going to put our heads between our legs and throw in the season. I think that there are some guys that want to finish strong.”

Lefty Francisco Liriano lasted just two innings for the Twins before leaving with a strained left shoulder, but the Orioles offense was kept quiet for the first five innings, scoring just once on five hits.

In the sixth, a two-run double by catcher Craig Tatum off reliever Anthony Swarzak broke things open, scoring Nolan Reimold and Ryan Adams. With his 29th home run of the season in the seventh, a three-run shot, Mark Reynolds then put the game out of reach.

The Orioles finished the series batting .308, with 15 of their 45 hits going for extra bases. Reynolds’ home run was the 150th of his career, as he went 7-for-17 over four games with two homers, a triple and seven RBIs.

“I’m feeling good,” Reynolds said. “I had a rough stretch there the last week or two. Get a couple knocks here and there and kind of get some confidence going up a little bit, and hopefully it’ll keep snowballing for me and I’ll finish strong.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles notebook, 8/25

August 25, 2011 Comments off

Guthrie felt special connection to Flanagan

By Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — Through their uniform number — both wore No. 46 for the Orioles — Jeremy Guthrie and the late Mike Flanagan have always shared a special connection.Guthrie even asked for and received permission from Flanagan to wear the number when Flanagan claimed him off waivers in 2007, during his tenure as executive vice president of baseball operations.

“Since the day I was given No. 46, I’ve had thousands of people tell me that was the number of their favorite pitcher for the Orioles when they were growing up,” Guthrie said. “So from Day 1, I think I’ve been reminded of the legacy and of the work that Mike did not only as a player, but also as a member of the community in Baltimore.

“It’s always been special, and now I think it takes on even a new level. He’s not going to be forgotten soon, that’s for sure.”

After thinking about it overnight, Guthrie is considering hanging up his No. 46 for the rest of the season in honor of Flanagan.

Guthrie is looking for input from a number of people, including fans.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of emotions flying around right now … but it’s a response that doesn’t surprise me from Jeremy,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “We’ll see. I’m not going to really weigh in on whether [he should do it]. It’s a nice gesture.”

Jones sits out finale with soreness

MINNEAPOLIS — After leaving games early on consecutive nights, center fielder Adam Jones was out of the Orioles lineup for Thursday’s series finale with the Twins.

Jones left Tuesday’s game after just one inning and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. On Wednesday night, Jones left after six innings with soreness in his neck, shoulder and chest.

“Hopefully, today will be good for him, and he’ll get back in there tomorrow,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I’ve got some options with him off the bench.”

The soreness Jones experienced on Wednesday and was still dealing with on Thursday morning likely was related to what forced him out of the game on Tuesday, when he had trouble catching his breath.

“Sometimes things like that could bring on the symptoms and some of the stuff he had,” Showalter said. “He felt great in BP yesterday, so I’ll take that as a positive.”

Guerrero returns in finale vs. Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero was back in the lineup on Thursday afternoon after missing Wednesday’s game with a left wrist contusion.

Guerrero, who was hit on the underside of his wrist by a ball during batting practice, was held out of the lineup as a precaution.

In the clubhouse after Wednesday’s game, Guerrero had his wrist heavily wrapped and iced, but said he was fine.

“It was a little puffy [on Wednesday],” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “We probably could’ve pushed the envelope on him [on Wednesday], but with the quick turnaround with the day game and [lefty Francisco] Liriano pitching [on Thursday], we wanted to be careful.

“So far so good, but we’ve got some options if he gets in there and can’t go.”

Showalter said Guerrero was intent on playing on Wednesday, despite the injury, but the manager decided otherwise, making him a late scratch from the lineup.

“He was all taped up and ready to go and trying to play yesterday,” Showalter said. “I just stopped him and said, ‘Let’s be smart with this.'”

Flanagan family issues statement for fans

MINNEAPOLIS — The Flanagan family issued a statement on Thursday regarding the death of former Orioles pitcher, executive and broadcaster Mike Flanagan.

The statement read:

“We thank you for your support and kind words at this difficult time. Thank you for respecting our privacy as we grieve.

“A private memorial will be held at a later date.”

–The Flanagan Family

Pie clears waivers, faces decision

MINNEAPOLIS — Felix Pie cleared waivers on Thursday, and the Orioles left fielder was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.

Pie now has the option to become a free agent, which would mean forfeiting what is left of his $985,000 salary for 2011. He can also accept his assignment and report to the Tides, but he must make his decision by Saturday morning.

“It’s good for us, not particularly good for him right now,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “But it may work out real well in the long haul for both of us.

“[Pie] and his agent and his family will make a decision, what’s best for him in his career. We hope it includes us.”

The Orioles designated Pie for assignment on Tuesday in an effort to get him some at-bats in the Minors and perhaps solve his offensive struggles.

Pie has batted just .220 this season, while slugging .280 with a .264 on-base percentage. All three numbers are well below Pie’s career numbers. The former Cubs top prospect has also struggled defensively and on the basepaths.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Longtime Oriole Flanagan dead at 59

August 24, 2011 Comments off

By Jon Star and Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — Over his 15 seasons with the Orioles, lefty Mike Flanagan was a fan favorite and one of the best starting pitchers in club history. But it was his impact on the organization off the field that made the news of his death Wednesday so hard to take.

“I always marveled at the way he treated everybody regardless of their background,” O’s manager Buck Showalter said. “Whether it was a guy that never played in the big leagues or whatever. The Orioles have lost a real source of wisdom. It’s just hard to imagine not getting to see him now and then.”

Baltimore County (Md.) police responded to a 911 call placed at 4:26 p.m. ET Wednesday afternoon after a body was found on the property of Flanagan, the former Orioles pitcher, broadcaster and front-office executive. That body was later identified as the former Oriole, the Baltimore Sun originally reported.

On Thursday, the Maryland medical examiner ruled Flanagan’s death a suicide.

Flanagan was 59. He is survived by his wife, Alex, and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall.

Flanagan’s family released a statement on Thursday that read:

“We thank you for your support and kind words at this difficult time. Thank you for respecting our privacy as we grieve.

“A private memorial will be held at a later date.”

“I am so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing,” Hall of Famer Cal Ripken said in a statement to Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. “He was a good friend and teammate and our thoughts are with Alex and his family. Mike was an Oriole through and through and he’ll be sorely missed by family, friends and fans. This is a sad day.”

The emergency call notified authorities of a death in the 15000 block of York Road in Sparks, Md., according to police spokeswoman Elise Armacost. Initial reports revealed that the body was discovered on a trail on the grounds. Sparks is located about 18 miles north of the site of the Orioles’ former ballpark, Memorial Stadium.

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan,” Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos said in a statement. “In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field.

“His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club, I extend my condolences to his wife Alex and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall.”

Flanagan, selected in the seventh round of the 1973 Draft, spent 18 years in the Majors — 15 with the Orioles, with whom he compiled a 141-116 record, a 3.89 ERA and 1,297 strikeouts. Flanagan earned the 1979 American League Cy Young Award after posting a 23-9 record, 3.09 ERA and 190 strikeouts, leading Baltimore to the AL pennant before falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series in seven games. The left-hander went 1-1 in 15 innings with 13 strikeouts in the Fall Classic.

“He was fantastic that year,” said former O’s teammate and current YES broadcaster Ken Singleton, who played with Flanagan from 1975-84 and hit 35 home runs in ’79. “The first time I ever met Mike’s dad, he thanked me for hitting all the home runs [15] in the games his son pitched. It just so happened I think I was hitting one every fourth or fifth day, and he was on the mound.”

Flanagan later returned to the World Series in 1983, making one start as the Orioles eventually took the Series, 4-1, and provided him with his lone ring. Flanagan went 12-4 with a 3.30 ERA in 20 starts that season.

“He was a good pitcher, an even better teammate,” said Singleton, whose home is close to Flanagan’s in Sparks. “His locker was only a couple down from mine at Memorial Stadium. I played with him for 10 years. He’s a good man. He’s one of the best pitchers the Orioles ever had.”

Flanagan spent three-plus seasons with the Blue Jays from 1987-90 before returning to Baltimore in ’91 and spending the final two seasons of his career as a reliever. In ’91, Flanagan was part of a four-pitcher no-hitter, which stands as the last no-hitter thrown by the franchise.

Flanagan retired following the 1992 season with a career record of 167-143 and 3.90 ERA. He struck out 1,491 batters in 526 games.

“He was one of our family,” said Hall of Fame right-hander Jim Palmer, a former teammate of Flanagan’s and his fellow color commentator on Orioles telecasts. “Great friend, great competitor.

“He was like a breath of fresh air with his humor and insight and all those things. He was just a terrific guy.”

Current A’s manager Bob Melvin, another former teammate, said he was shocked to hear of the news of Flanagan’s death.

“I think the world of him,” Melvin said. “I was teammates with him just the one year in Baltimore, but we’ve had a friendship since. He struck Travis Fryman out to end Memorial Stadium’s history, and I was catching, and he had a photo of it blown up years later, framed, and gave it to me.

“He was a man’s man, and the ultimate baseball guy’s guy. He was a leader, just someone you really looked up to and respected. … That’s just unbelievable, completely shocking.”

Following his retirement, Flanagan was a common presence around the Orioles’ organization, serving as a broadcaster from 1996-97 and 1999-2002 before moving into the front office on Dec. 4, 2002, when he took the position of vice president for baseball operations, working alongside vice president Jim Beattie, giving Baltimore de facto dual general managers. In 2005, Flanagan was named executive vice president for baseball operations, a position he held until 2008.

Flanagan, whose grandfather Ed Sr. and father Ed Jr. both played in the Red Sox organization, was voted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1994.

During his time in the Orioles’ front office, Flanagan claimed right-hander Jeremy Guthrie off waivers from the Indians in 2007. They shared a special bond — and a uniform number — since then, which shows the impact Flanagan had on the Baltimore organization.

“Since the day I was given No. 46, I’ve had thousands of people tell me that was the number of their favorite pitcher for the Orioles when they were growing up,” Guthrie said. “So from Day 1, I think I’ve been reminded of the legacy and of the work that Mike did not only as a player, but also as a member of the community in Baltimore.

“It’s always been special and now I think it takes on even a new level. He’s not going to be forgotten soon, that’s for sure.”

Jon Star is a reporter for Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guthrie delivers as O’s win with heavy hearts

August 24, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — If it were not for Mike Flanagan, right-hander Jeremy Guthrie may never have joined the Orioles in 2007.

So, it was only fitting that Guthrie — who wears the same No. 46 that Flanagan donned for 15 years with Baltimore — would pitch a gem in a 6-1 victory over the Twins on Wednesday, the night of Flanagan’s death.

Flanagan was the executive vice president of baseball operations at the time, and he made the waiver claim to acquire Guthrie from the Indians. When he joined the club, Guthrie asked for and received permission from Flanagan to wear No. 46.

“Since the day I was given No. 46, I’ve had thousands of people tell me that was the number of their favorite pitcher for the Orioles when they were growing up,” Guthrie said. “So from Day 1, I think I’ve been reminded of the legacy and of the work that Mike did not only as a player, but also as a member of the community in Baltimore.

“It’s always been special, and now I think it takes on even a new level. He’s not going to be forgotten soon, that’s for sure.”

Flanagan’s death overshadowed a brilliant outing by Guthrie and the Orioles’ third straight win, the first time the O’s won three straight on the road since April 29-May 1 against the White Sox. Baltimore also picked up its first series win since June 24-26 versus Cincinnati, snapping a streak of 15 winless series.

And the Orioles won a road series for the first time since taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays May 13-15.

But all of that mattered less to the O’s once they heard of Flanagan’s death. Hall of Fame right-hander Jim Palmer, a former teammate of Flanagan’s and current O’s broadcaster, said he heard the news about the third or fourth inning.

“Well, it kind of makes the game insignificant,” Palmer said. “It just makes you kind of re-evaluate how lucky we were and it makes you take a look at what’s going on, what’s important and what’s not.”

Guthrie allowed a first-inning triple and a run on back-to-back doubles in the third, but was otherwise stalwart on the night. After those doubles, Guthrie retired 12 straight batters until issuing a two-out walk to Luke Hughes in the seventh.

Guthrie allowed one run on five hits in seven innings with five strikeouts. He snapped a three-start winless streak, picking up his first win since July 29 at New York.

Still, his postgame focus was more on Flanagan than on his own success.

“It’s a really sad day,” Guthrie said. “He’s so close to so many people in this organization and he’s touched the lives of thousands in the Baltimore community, and the baseball world. So, the news of him passing is a big blow to this team, to this family, to this organization, to the city and to Major League Baseball.”

Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey shut down the Orioles’ offense for four innings, but the O’s jumped all over him in the fifth, collectively hitting for the cycle in the inning. Mark Reynolds kicked things off with a homer, though he thought he had popped it up off the bat.

Though he never got to know Flanagan as well as some others with the Orioles, Reynolds shared his thoughts on the situation.

“It’s sad,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t really get a chance to know him on a personal level, it’s my first year here. But I’ve seen him around, and from what I hear from everyone, he’s a great guy. … He was a big part of the club.”

Two batters after Reynolds’ homer, with Jake Fox on first and one out, Nolan Reimold tripled, followed by a Ryan Adams double, J.J. Hardy single and a Nick Markakis walk.

Slowey then got Adam Jones to flyout to left, but a Matt Wieters double knocked him out of the game. Slowey only allowed one hit and a hit batter through the first four frames, but finished with five runs allowed on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.

Even with the success the Orioles have enjoyed this week at Target Field, manager Buck Showalter did not talk about the win in his postgame meeting with reporters.

“Mike made a point of making me feel welcome from Day 1,” Showalter said. “The first time I spent time with him, he was in the line at a ‘Welcome Home’ banquet. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was trying to help me help our left-handers with their moves.

“I always looked forward to him coming in, sitting down and drinking coffee with me. Not only talking about baseball, but talking about life. He was a passionate man about the Orioles and his family and he impacted a lot of people’s lives.

“He’s someone that our organization has always been proud, not only for the way he pitched but the way he treated people.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles notebook, 8/24

August 24, 2011 Comments off

Vlad scratched from lineup with bruised wrist

MINNEAPOLIS — Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero was a late scratch from Wednesday’s lineup with a left wrist contusion.

With Guerrero out, catcher Matt Wieters batted cleanup, while Mark Reynolds and Robert Andino also moved up one spot each to the fifth and sixth spots, respectively.

Jake Fox, who was called up on Tuesday from Triple-A Norfolk, batted seventh as the DH in place of Guerrero. For Fox, it was his first start since May 27.

In six games this year against the Twins, Guerrero is batting .346 with two home runs, five RBIs and two doubles. Guerrero was 3-for-5 on Tuesday night with a double and three runs scored.

After the O’s 6-1 win, Guerrero said his wrist — which was heavily wrapped — was fine.

Angle looking to snap his offensive funk

By Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — Even after getting an unexpected four at-bats on Tuesday night with center fielder Adam Jones coming out of the game early, rookie Matt Angle had yet to pick up his first Major League hit entering Wednesday’s game.Angle went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the O’s 8-1 win over the Twins on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Angle replaced Jones in the bottom of the seventh and went hitless in his only at-bat.Through four games, Angle was 0-for-12 with a walk and a strikeout.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he was not worried about Angle trying too hard or putting too much pressure on himself to get the first hit out of the way.

“It’s going to happen,” Showalter said. “He’s done some good things [in the past] and he’s a baseball player. He’ll get a hit.”

Jones feeling better, returns to O’s lineup

MINNEAPOLIS — After giving his team and its fans a scare on Tuesday night, Adam Jones was back in the Orioles’ lineup on Wednesday against the Twins.

Jones left the second game of the series after just one inning due to what was announced as an illness. He was later taken from Target Field to the Hennepin County Medical Center during the middle innings for further evaluation.

“I just didn’t feel myself,” Jones said. “So, I guess the team wanted to make sure I was OK. But I feel fine today.”

Jones went 0-for-4 at the plate and was replaced in the field by Matt Angle in the bottom of the seventh.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he made out two lineups on Wednesday, one with Jones in it and one with him out.

Jones was his usual upbeat self during the team’s pregame stretch on Wednesday, which was a good sign of how he felt, as Jones was more subdued a night earlier.

“You can tell he’s a lot more engaged,” Showalter said. “I should’ve known something was up because usually he’s real engaging. He always sticks his head in and we shoot the breeze a little bit.”

After feeling fine through the Orioles’ pregame stretch and batting practice on Tuesday, Jones’ symptoms popped up early in the game. When it continued to persist through the top of the second, Jones left the game and was replaced by Angle.

The Orioles decided shortly thereafter that it would be best to have Jones go to the hospital and go through a number of tests to figure out what exactly was going on.

Said Jones of how long he was at the hospital: “Too long. I should’ve been there for two minutes, but was there a little bit longer. But I’m all right, and that’s the important thing.”

Jones said he did not know, nor did he care, what they were testing him for at the hospital. All that mattered was that he was healthy and back in the lineup a day later.

“It was nothing that’s going to keep me out of a game,” Jones said. “It took me out of one, but it won’t keep me out of another.”

Showalter said he still was not entirely sure what Jones was dealing with, but thought it was primarily due to dehydration.

Reynolds’ glove becoming O’s first option

MINNEAPOLIS — While he has logged 638 games at third base over five years, Mark Reynolds has only played first base 48 times. And 14 of those games at first have come this season with the Orioles.

Reynolds has looked comfortable at first base, though, even making a key play on Tuesday night that led to an inning-ending double play.

After center fielder Ben Revere grounded out to first, Reynolds fired home to cut down Twins infielder Luke Hughes, getting him caught in a run down as he tried to score.

“That was a big play there in a lot of ways looking back on it,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Mark made sure he got that out [at first] and still had another out there.

“I know coaching third base, that’s a tough play for a runner and a third-base coach. If you go directly to the plate you’re probably out. If you wait too long… it’s a tough one. We were fortunate it was hit in the right place and worked out for us.”

Reynolds has become the Orioles’ everyday first baseman since Chris Davis has been sidelined since Aug. 14 due to a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder.

With Reynolds at first, Robert Andino has taken over as the No. 1 option at third base, and Ryan Adams is now the Orioles’ everyday second baseman. Those three, along with J.J. Hardy at shortstop, have provided solid infield defense this week at Target Field.

“Robert’s handled third base well in two games, and I felt confident he would,” Showalter said. “So far so good. Obviously defense is a big part of being able to sustain some things over the course of a season.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jones taken to hospital following illness

August 23, 2011 Comments off

By Jordan Schelling /

MINNEAPOLIS — Orioles center fielder Adam Jones left Tuesday’s 8-1 victory against the Twins after becoming ill just one inning into the contest and was taken to a Twin Cities hospital.

“He was feeling a little down and just weak. After his first at-bat and everything it didn’t get any better,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “We didn’t like what he was describing, so we decided to get him out of there and let the doctors take a look at him.

“They’re still looking into it, haven’t really been able to nail it down. We just want to rule a lot of things out. To be on the safe side, we’re going to let them do some more tests at the hospital.”

Outfielder Matt Angle, who was recalled before the game from Triple-A Norfolk, pinch-hit for Jones in the second inning and remained in the game in center field.

Jones struck out in the first in his only at-bat against Twins lefty Brian Duensing.

Angle also struck out against Duensing in a four-run second inning for the O’s, capped by a three-run homer from Nolan Reimold. In his first game back with the Orioles in a month, Angle finished 0-for-4.

Showalter did not rule out the possibility of Jones spending the night at the hospital.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simon’s solid effort helps O’s top Twins

August 23, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — Alfredo Simon had already enjoyed the best start of his career through eight innings on Tuesday, but he was not satisfied with stopping there. Simon had his sights on closing out the game.

“I thought it was a tough decision to send him out there for the eighth,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “But he was the difference in the game tonight, I was proud of him.”

Simon would not finish out the ninth, but his dominant performance, along with the offense jumping all over Twins lefty Brian Duensing, allowed the Orioles to cruise to an 8-1 victory at Target Field.

The Orioles held the Twins to just one run for the second straight night, the first time they’ve held an opponent to one run or fewer on consecutive nights since limiting the Rays and Tigers to just one run in the first four games of the season.

Setting career-high marks in both innings and strikeouts with eight of each, Simon delivered a superb outing, snapping a three-start winless streak. Over those eight innings, Simon allowed just one run on three hits with one walk.

“I just tried to throw the first pitch for a strike, no matter what hitter it was,” Simon said. “I just felt really good tonight.

“I know just threw like 100-something pitches or whatever [114], but I felt like I could throw the ninth inning, because I wasn’t really tired. I wanted to finish the game. I asked for the last one.”

Over his previous three starts, Simon was 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA, allowing 16 runs (13 earned) on 29 hits in 15 2/3 innings. He picked up his fourth win of the season on Tuesday and his first since Aug. 2.

Simon looked more like the pitcher who went 2-3 with a 3.26 ERA over his first five starts of the season, than the one who had struggled over the last two weeks.

The only real mistake Simon made all night was an 0-1 pitch to Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, who drove it over the left-field fence for Minnesota’s only run of the ballgame.

“Our offense was just non-existent,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “[Simon] threw the ball really well. I think we saw splitters and curveballs, and a decent fastball from him. He had us guessing all night along. Danny put one good swing out there early, but we had to battle the rest of the night.”

Beginning with three straight hits in the second inning, the Orioles hit Duensing hard. The O’s plated four in the second inning, including a three-run homer by left fielder Nolan Reimold.

Reimold’s blast was the 100th homer for the Orioles since June 1, a mark that leads the Majors.

“I think he was just leaving balls over the plate and we were able to take advantage of it,” Reimold said. “It seemed like he had pretty good stuff, just didn’t hit his spots.”

In the third, Baltimore added three more runs as it put four straight runners on base with three hits and a walk, highlighted by Mark Reynolds’ two-run triple.

Duensing lasted just two-plus innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and a walk with one strikeout. After Guerrero hit one back up the middle off Duensing’s left hand, he made a poor throw to first and did not seem to be the same pitcher the rest of the night.

“I know he took that ball off the barehand, and you never know what effect that has on a guy,” Showalter said. “But we had a good approach to him. We were fortunate tonight, he’s better than that.”

Reynolds, along with designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, led the way at the plate as the middle of the O’s order went 7-for-11 with four walks, four RBIs, two doubles, a triple and seven runs scored.

Catcher Matt Wieters walked in each of his last four plate appearances, setting a career-high with four walks and by reaching base five times.

After losing five straight, the Orioles have won consecutive games for just the fourth time in the last two months.

“We’re not going to throw in the towel,” Reimold said. “We’re going to keep battling, keep trying to get some wins, and just keep trying to play good baseball. The last two days have been good days for us, so we’re looking to continue doing that.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.