Monell homers in five-run third (Orioles win 11-5)


Score: Orioles 11, Twins 5

Recap: The Orioles entered the top of the third inning down 3-0 and left it leading 5-3. The last three runs scored on catcher Johnny Monell’s long home run to right field. Monell went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Chris Tillman allowed three runs in the second, but only one was earned.

Need to know: Zach Britton was hit on the bottom of his glove hand by a Josh Willingham comebacker in the fifth inning. He picked up the ball and made the throw to first for the final out, but appeared to be in pain.

On deck: Thursday, home vs. Rays, 1:05 p.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Johnny Monell capped a five-run rally in the top of the third inning tonight with a three-run shot to right field, one of those no-doubters where the wind changed direction and the Orioles catcher took a few seconds to admire his work.

Monell gave the Orioles a 5-3 lead with his blast off Twins right-hander Jared Burton, who replaced starter Mike Pelfrey with one out in the third.

Alex Gonzalez led off with a single and scored one out later on Quintin Berry’s double to center field. Burton entered the game and Berry stole third without a throw. Jemile Weeks walked and Berry scored on Xavier Paul’s single into center.

Weeks also stole third without a throw and Monell unloaded on Burton.

The Orioles increased their lead to 6-3 in the fourth on Weeks’ fielder’s choice grounder. Gonzalez led off with a single, Julio Borbon was hit by a pitch and Berry reached on an infield single before Weeks stepped to the plate.

Chris Tillman allowed three runs in the bottom of the second, but only one was earned. Paul overran Josh Willingham’s fly ball near the line for a three-base error.

Tillman gave up four hits in the inning, including Trevor Plouffe’s RBI infield single. He left the game after retiring leadoff hitter Joe Mauer on a ground ball in the bottom of the third.

Tillman surrendered three runs (one earned) and four hits, walked none and struck out two. He threw 46 pitches, 30 for strikes.

A 31-pitch second inning eliminated any chance of Tillman completing the third.

Eddie Gamboa replaced Tillman and retired the next two batters on a ground ball and fly ball. The first out came on a 67 mph knuckler, the next on a 91 mph fastball.

Gamboa has retired all six batters faced this spring, with three strikeouts.

Left-hander Zach Britton has entered the game in the bottom of the fourth.

Monell, Berry and Gonzalez each have two hits for the Orioles.

Update: The Orioles batted around in the top of the sixth and scored five more runs to lead 11-3. Only one run was earned.

Steve Pearce had a two-run double and Monell drove in his fourth run of the night with a single. Paul delivered in his second run with a fielder’s choice grounder.

Nolan Reimold picked up his first hit of the spring on an infield single.

The Twins issued two walks and were guilty of an error and a passed ball.

Zach Britton tossed two scoreless innings and had his sinker working. He allowed one hit, hit a batter and struck out two. However, he was hit by a Willingham comebacker and appeared in pain after recording the final out.

I was downstairs interviewing Tillman and missed the play. Will have more information later.

Update II: Britton was hit on the bottom of his glove hand. Manager Buck Showalter will provide more information after the game.

The Orioles lead 11-5 in the bottom of the eighth. Steve Johnson allowed two runs in the seventh on a walk, triple and sacrifice fly.

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