MINNEAPOLIS - The Orioles scored nine unanswered runs last night to overcome a 6-0 deficit.
According to STATS, it marked the first time that the Orioles won a game by three runs or more after being down by six or more in the sixth inning or later since June 15, 1983 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Orioles were behind 7-0 in the top of the seventh before rallying to win 11-8 in 10 innings.
Steve Johnson held opponents hitless in 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position as a rookie last season. According to STATS, the only longer streak of hitless at-bats to start a pitcher’s career since 1974 was 25 by the Atlanta Braves’ Larry Bradford from Sept. 24, 1977-Sept. 20, 1979.
Johnson could be available in relief early next week, depending on how many pitches he throws tonight.
“Or if we have a problem tonight, we may have to get a pitcher here, even though it’s for one day,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We’ve got that kind of lined up, as you can tell by who did or didn’t pitch in Norfolk today, in case we’ve got a problem tonight.”
Jake Pettit made his Triple-A debut today for the Tides, followed by reliever Manny Delcarmen and closer Jairo Asencio, who registered his ninth save.
Chris Davis had three doubles last night, the most by an Oriole since Nick Markakis on July 14, 2012 against the Detroit Tigers.
Adam Jones has hit in 11 straight games against the Minnesota Twins, batting .452 (24-for-53). J.J. Hardy has hit in seven straight against the Twins, batting .333 (9-for-27) with three homers, seven RBIs and four runs scored.
Over his last 17 games, Manny Machado is batting .378 (28-for-74) with seven doubles, a triple, three homers and 12 RBIs. He has 10 multi-hit games during that stretch.
Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland has pitched in the last two games, the first time he’s gone back-to-back in his professional career. He was mostly a starter in the minors, with only nine relief appearances in 116 outings.
McFarland gave up two runs and three hits in one inning Thursday night against the Kansas City Royals, but he shut out the Twins last night over 2 2/3 innings.
“He’s kind of done it, but not in a game,” Showalter said. “I’ve told you before, Rick (Adair) and them, they do a good job of keeping the ball in his hands. They’ve had simulated situations down in the bullpen earlier in the day. But there’s no substitute for pitching in a game, so it’s been impressive how he’s handled it. I have every reason to believe he’s going to tell us that he’s ready to pitch today.
“I really like the way he’s fit in with his teammates, too. You can tell they really like the way he’s handled himself here, including the mustache.”
The Orioles did the expected earlier today and optioned reliever Alex Burnett to Triple-A Norfolk for the second time this season.
“He’s a guy I enjoy talking to,” Showalter said. “He’s alert, looks you right in the eye. He understands what’s going on. He said, ‘I’ll keep doing the same things I did to get back here. I hope nobody gets hurt and I love the situation we have in Norfolk. If you’ve got to be in Triple-A, that’s the kind of club you want to be on.’ He’s real impressive.
“I was hoping to use him last night. I was trying to finish out that game in a losing cause with Mac and him, and the game kind of dictated a different feel.”
Miguel Gonzalez, on the disabled list with a blister on his right thumb, will throw another bullpen session Sunday at Target Field before starting his injury-rehab assignment.
“(Tsuyoshi) Wada, Miguel Gonzalez and even (Kevin) Gausman might fall at the same time,” Showalter said. “I know Dan (Duquette) and Brian Graham are trying to decide the best places for all of them to pitch.”
Gausman is starting tonight at Double-A Bowie.
“The off-day Thursday... Bowie will probably be an interesting game for somebody to watch,” Showalter said, grinning.