Lucas optioned to Norfolk (and Game 1 quotes, O’s down 15-7)

The Orioles created a roster spot for starter Alex Cobb tonight by optioning reliever Josh Lucas to Triple-A Norfolk.

Cobb comes off the injured list to start Game 2 against the Twins, as the Orioles try to avoid a sweep. Tonight marks his second outing with the Orioles. He’s been on the IL with groin and back injuries.

Lucas allowed two earned runs (three total) in 4 1/3 innings.

Branden Kline is officially the 26th man for the nightcap. He’s part of the roster shuffling today.

Joey Rickard is leading off and playing left field in Game 2. Hanser Alberto is playing third base and Rio Ruiz moves to 1B. Chris Davis is out of the lineup.

Renato Núñez continues to serve as the designated hitter.

For the Orioles
Joey Rickard LF
Jonathan Villar 2B
Trey Mancini RF
Renato Núñez DH
Hanser Alberto 3B
Jesús Sucre C
Richie Martin SS
Rio Ruiz 1B
Cedric Mullins CF

Alex Cobb RHP

The Orioles lost the opener 6-5, with a late rally falling short. They outhit the Twins 13-9.

“I thought we battled like normal. Just came up a run short,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “I like the way we swung the bat and put together a nice rally in the eighth inning off a pretty good bullpen arm. Just came up a little bit short.”

The Orioles gave up three more home runs, all from Dan Straily, to raise their total to 49.

“Dan gave up three solos,” Hyde said. “We’ve given up a lot of home runs. We’re looking to execute a little better with two strikes. A lot of damage is done with two strikes against us. Just something we’ve got to get a lot better at.”

Davis singled, doubled and was robbed of a home run. He has seven hits in his last 17 at-bats.

“Swinging the bat great,” Hyde said. “Tough AB against a tough left-hander (Taylor Rogers) and he gets on base for us with a nice base hit up the middle. Smokes two balls to left-center. Swung the bat really nice today.”

Jimmy Yacabonis was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning after replacing Straily.

“I just through his command ... Obviously, he comes in, tie game, hits the first guy (Jonathan Schoop) in the back. His command wasn’t there like it has been,” Hyde said. “Yac’s been pretty good for us and it wasn’t his day.”

Scott-Pitch-Orange@BOS-sidebar.jpgTanner Scott struck out five of six batters faced.

“That was pretty good,” Hyde said. “That was upper 90s fastball with a wipeout slider, so like to see more of that.”

Straily didn’t get the decision after allowing the three home runs, including two by Eddie Rosario.

“We talked about this pretty much the day I got here, about how a lot of times baseball games come down to one or two pitches that before you throw the ball you don’t know what impact it’s going to bring to the game,” he said. “Unfortunately, any one of those pitches that any of us gave up runs on, just one of those would have changed the outcome for us. It brings back the importance of being focused on every single pitch and trying to execute it. Today, a couple of the home runs were not even badly executed pitches. It was just bad game plan on our end, I guess.

“There’s just something about baseball that well-executed pitches can be a hit and so can non-executed pitches and today it was a couple executed ones for me.”

Straily threw 98 pitches in five innings, but never paid attention to his count.

“What did I finish at?” he asked. “That’s the guys in the dugout. I’m just out there competing. They just asked me if I was feeling good and I said, ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t even know what my pitch count was.

“I try not to look at kind of stuff a lot of times, especially because when I was younger I’d see it up there and go, ‘Go out there and have a quick inning there,’ because of my pitch count and it led to me coming out of the game quicker. So I’ve learned not to even look at that kind of stuff when I’m out there.”

Update: Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer in the first and C.J. Cron added a solo shot to give the Twins a 3-0 lead and the Orioles the record for most home runs allowed before May 1 with 51.

Update II: Mitch Garver’s RBI double in the second gave Minnesota a 4-0 lead.

Update III: Eddie Rosario homered twice in Game 1 and his two-run shot tonight increased the lead to 6-0 in the third inning.

Update IV: Cobb was charged with nine runs in 2 2/3 innings, tying his career high, and the Orioles trail 10-0. Mike Wright replaced him and was greeted by Mitch Garver’s three-run shot.

Update V: Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run homer off Wright in the fourth. Twins 13, Orioles 0.

Update VI: Renato Núñez hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Twins 13, Orioles 2.

Update VII: Hanser Alberto’s first major league homer is a two-run shot in the sixth to reduce the lead to 13-4. Branden Kline is making his major league debut in the seventh.

Update VIII: Garver and Cruz homered off Kline in the eighth for a 15-4 lead. Pedro Severino had an RBI grounder in the bottom half, Jonathan Villar scored on a wild pitch and Núñez homered again. Twins 15, Orioles 7.

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