Showalter speaks after 8-2 win

Third baseman Mark Reynolds fouled a ball off his instep, which is why Ryan Flaherty replaced him at third base in the ninth inning. Showalter says Reynolds should be fine.

The Orioles will go for their first sweep of the Twins in Baltimore since August 2002.

Nick Markakis is 5-for-7 to start the season.

“I see the things Nick plays through that a lot of people ... you really get his attention when you don’t write him in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And he’s such a great example for everybody. Good teammates don’t want to let their teammates down. They make people around them better and Nicky’s growing into that type of guy. He makes his teammates better by the example he sets.”

Robert Andino had two RBIs tonight. He didn’t record his second RBI last season until May 21.

“You hear me talk about how important the nine-hole hitter is in the American League,” Showalter said. “It’s kind of like the eight-hole hitter in the National League. I’ve been contemplating hitting Robert up higher with his success off left-handers, but to have that type of production down there ... you’re trying to have a lineup that doesn’t give you a lot of breathing room and guys down at the bottom that, if you relax on them, can hurt you. And Robert’s in a good place right now. He’s kind of picked up where he left off last year.”

Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter became the first Orioles to open the season with consecutive starts of seven or more innings since Pat Hentgen (8 2/3), Sidney Ponson (7 1/3) and Jason Johnson (8 1/3) in April 2001 against the Red Sox.

“Two games we’ve gotten deep in the game and it really creates a good atmosphere for the hitters,” Showalter said.

“You heard me talk about it in simplistic form. You see us getting deeper in the game with our starting pitching, we’ll have some fun this year. It’s two out of 162, but it’s a good way to start. We had good starts to start the season last year, so we’ll see if it continues.”

Ronny Paulino collected four hits, becoming the first batter since Sam Horn in April 1990 to record four in his Orioles debut. Paulino is now 13-for-17 in his first start with a new team. He went 2-for-3 for the Pirates, 2-for-3 with the Marlins, 5-for-7 with the Mets and 4-for-4 tonight.

“We’re trying to figure out a way to get him in there, so it’s a credit to Ronny what he’s able to do that allows you to take advantage of it,” Showalter said. “Makes it pretty easy to figure out a way. Just creates a little bit of anxiety with the second catcher. We do have a third and fourth guy who can go back there. He and Nick are making it tough to get anybody to report early next year.”

Down on the farm, Jamie Hoffmann hit a two-run homer in Triple-A Norfolk’s 4-1 victory over Charlotte in Game 2 of a doubleheader. Steve Johnson allowed one run and three hits, with one walk and five strikeouts, in five innings. Pat Neshek got the save by striking out the only batter he faced.

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