For the Orioles, no double steal was needed tonight.
The longball returned to the offense. Twins’ starter Trevor May opened the door and the O’s kicked it in with a couple of big swings in a 9-1 romp over Minnesota in the opener of a four-game series.
The Orioles are 77-56 and tie their season high in moving 21 games over the .500 mark.
Making his fourth major league start, the 24-year-old May sailed through the first three innings on just 43 pitches.
But his control eluded him in the fourth. After Jimmy Paredes singled in his first Orioles at-bat, May hit both Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz to load the bases. One out later, J.J. Hardy drew a bases-loaded walk for a 1-0 lead.
Chris Davis then crushed a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right-center for a grand slam, and suddenly it was 5-0. It was Davis’ 24th homer and his second grand slam of the year (fourth of his career). It was the O’s fifth slam of 2014.
May was gone during a fifth inning that featured Jones’ RBI single and Delmon Young’s two-run homer for an 8-0 lead. Young’s homer was reviewed as it appeared a fan may have pulled the ball over the wall, but the homer call was upheld. It was No. 7 for Young. Jonathan Schoop’s double an inning later made it a 9-0 edge.
May was charged eight runs on six hits, but he did strike out eight over 4 2/3. His ERA is now 10.42.
The Orioles lost two of three at Minnesota in early May and were outscored 11-6 in that series. Tonight they had eight runs by the fifth inning.
Steve Pearce left tonight’s game with a right abdominal strain. He was replaced by Paredes to start the fourth inning.
Miguel Gonzalez got the benefit of all the runs, but he pitched pretty well also. He went seven innings allowing just four hits and one run on 103 pitches. Gonzalez is 7-7 with an ERA of 3.61.
He has now given up two or fewer earned runs in seven of his past eight starts, going 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA.
Gonzalez gave up a solo homer to Trevor Plouffe in the seventh inning which was the 10,000th homer in Twins franchise history.
The Orioles improved to 4-1 on this homestand and to 38-27 at home for the season with their 19th win in the last 25 games at Camden Yards.