The wait ended for T.J. McFarland with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Manager Buck Showalter walked to the mound and signaled for the Rule 5 pick. It was time to make his major league debut in the fifth game of the 2013 season.
McFarland is taking full advantage of the opportunity while also demonstrating why the Orioles wanted so badly to make room for him on their roster.
McFarland has retired 10 of the first 11 batters he’s faced, striking out five of them. Chris Parmelee is the only Twin to reach base, on a two-out single in the fifth inning.
Aaron Hicks and Joe Mauer struck out to close the sixth. Hicks saw back-to-back sliders, registering 76 and 78 mph, and fanned on an 87 mph fastball. Mauer struck out on an 86 mph fastball.
McFarland made it three consecutive strikeouts when he disposed of Josh Willingham leading off the seventh, and four in a row when Justin Morneau suffered the same fate. Willingham struck out on an 87 mph fastball, Morneau on an 88 mph fastball.
McFarland is setting up the hitters in such a way that his heater looks like it’s got more heat.
Ryan Doumit made contact with two outs in the seventh and almost reached on an infield hit, but third baseman Manny Machado charged the ball, made the barehanded pickup and threw him out. An outstanding play by the former minor league shortstop who looks like he’s been handling the hot corner his entire life.
We’re still tied, 5-5, and Josh Roenicke is pitching for the Twins. He’s the son of former Orioles outfielder Gary Roenicke.
Update: The Orioles stranded two in the bottom of the seventh, with Willingham making a sliding catch in left field to rob Matt Wieters.
Nick Markakis doubled, making him 4-for-4, and Chris Davis walked on four pitches with two outs. The Twins wanted no part of him. Call it an unintentional intentional walk.
McFarland is done for the night after retiring 10 of 11 batters and striking out five. Darren O’Day replaced him in the top of the eighth and hit Trevor Plouffe after Wieters dropped a foul pop for an error.
Tonight’s attendance: 40,704.
Update II: The Twins have taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth against Orioles closer Jim Johnson.
Hicks reached with one out on Davis’ error. Mauer struck out, but Willingham walked and Morneau singled up the middle to score Hicks. The run is unearned.
Update III: The Orioles can’t get a baserunner in the ninth and lose to the Twins, 6-5.
Another one-run loss!