On a night the Orioles broke out some big offense, another excellent outing by a starting pitcher set the tone for a second straight win over the Minnesota Twins.
Tommy Hunter followed up Jake Arrieta’s outstanding opening day performance by pitching seven-plus strong innings tonight in the Orioles’ 8-2 win over Minnesota in front of 31,532 at Camden Yards.
Hunter took a shutout into the eighth but left the game when Minnesota loaded the bases on two singles and a Mark Reynolds error. Pedro Strop came on and two runs scored on groundballs, both charged to Hunter.
Hunter allowed six hits and two runs (both unearned) with one walk and three strikeouts, throwing 98 pitches.
O’s starters have not allowed an earned run over 14 innings in the season’s first two games and Twins batters hit just .167 (8-for-48) combined against Arrieta and Hunter.
This is also the first time since 2001 that the Orioles have had consecutive starts of seven innings or more to start the season.
As for the offense, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters all hit solo homers, and Ronny Paulino went 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in his O’s debut. Robert Andino added a two-run single.
Markakis went 3-for-4 and is 5-for-7 on the season. He has now homered in back-to-back games for the eighth time in his career.
The Orioles have now beaten the Twins six straight times and in eight of the last nine meetings between the teams.
The Orioles have a 2-0 start and will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. when Jason Hammel faces Minnesota right-hander Anthony Swarzak.