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Orioles stop five-game losing streak with win over Twins

Orioles stop five-game losing streak with win over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Baltimore Orioles have tumbled through the last two months, with their starting pitchers the biggest part of the problem.

Wade Miley was the solution on Saturday.

Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo each homered in support of Miley's best performance in more than five weeks, and the Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 to stop a five-game losing streak.

"If we're looking in the standings right now, we're wrong. We just go play day by day and play the game the right way," Miley said. "That was a pretty clean baseball game. It's one of the first ones in a while."

Manny Machado added an RBI double to help the Orioles beat the Twins for the first time in six meetings this season. This was just their third win in 11 games, and they're 19-36 since May 10 to fall from first place in the American League East to being tied for last.

Miley (4-7) had his own struggles to deal with. He failed to finish three innings in three of his last six starts, an awful stretch that saw his ERA balloon from 2.82 to 5.20. Against the Twins, he gave up eight hits and three walks, but only one run before leaving with two outs in the sixth.

"It's a good way to end it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That's why these guys are what they are. They don't run away from their struggles. They want to get back and make the contributions that they're asked to make."

After Miguel Sano's 21st home run, Schoop trumped his All-Star teammate with a towering two-run shot in the fourth inning off Adalberto Mejia (4-4). The ball landed in the third deck above left field, estimated by Major League Baseball's Statcast system at 462 feet.

"Everything worked today," Schoop said. "We're looking for it to work tomorrow."

Mejia was removed with two outs in the seventh, after allowing five hits, three walks and four runs. He had won each of his previous three starts, but the Twins stranded 10 runners on base over the first six innings and didn't come close to the stirring comeback they produced on Friday from a 6-0 deficit for a 9-6 victory.

SLUGGING SANO

Sano stretched his hitting streak to a season-long and career-high-tying 10 straight games. He's batting .342 with three homers and nine RBIs on the run. His before-the-break total is the most by a Twins player since Justin Morneau had 21 homers in 2009.

"I need to hit more than that," Sano said, "and next year hit more than that."

COLON COMING?

After signing 44-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon to a minor-league contract for at least one turn with Triple-A Rochester, the Twins could bring him up to start as soon as July 18 against the New York Yankees. Jose Berrios, Ervin Santana, Kyle Gibson and Mejia have been ordered for after the All-Star break, but there's a fifth spot in the rotation that'll need to be filled.

GOOD START

Twins outfielder Zack Granite, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester, arrived in Minnesota after midnight but still beat manager Paul Molitor to work on his first day of major league duty. Granite debuted in the eighth inning with an 11-pitch at-bat that ended with a pop up and a rousing ovation from the crowd of 26,323.

"That's definitely the loudest I've ever heard a stadium for an out," Granite said, "so that was kind of cool."

SCHOOP AT SHORT

The Orioles designated SS Paul Janish for assignment to make room for RHP Chris Tillman, who returned from paternity leave to join the bullpen for now. With manager Buck Showalter wanting to give Johnny Giavotella some work at 2B, Schoop got his first career start at SS.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Miley was tripped by a spinning barrel off the broken bat of Kennys Vargas during an inning-ending groundout in the fifth, sending him to the ground, but he returned for the sixth after walking off gingerly.

Twins: Molitor said he's "fairly confident" that 1B Joe Mauer (strained lower back) will be ready to play as soon as he's eligible to come off the DL on Friday for the first game after the break.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-4, 6.64 ERA) pitches on Sunday. His ERA has never been lower than 5.44 over his last 40 appearances since May 12, 2016.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (5-6, 5.82 ERA) takes the mound to wrap up the series. Since being recalled May 22 from Triple-A, he's 5-2 with a 4.59 ERA in nine starts.

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0