Hardy Slam Knocks Out Twins

J.J. Hardy slugged a grand slam homer and Caleb Joseph dunked four singles into left field to lead the Orioles to a 12-8 win over the Twins. Ubaldo Jimenez came on to pitch the ninth inning and tried to hand the game to the Twins, walking three and giving up a double. Buck was forced to call on Zach Britton to get the last two outs and the save, getting Eduardo Nunez to ground into a double play.

Ricky Nolasco has not been very good this year and he replicated that awfulness in this game. He hit two batters in the first and loaded the bases but escaped by striking out J.J. Hardy. The Orioles collected two singles in the second but failed to score. In the third Nelson Cruz launched a missle into the left field bleachers to score the first run. Ryan Flaherty soon followed with a 3-run homerun onto the right field pavilion to up the ante to 4-0.

The Twins came back off Wei-Yen Chen in the fourth. Trevor Plouffe did the damage, lofting a towering fly ball that fell into the third row of the left field bleacher seats. David Lough made a valiant effort to catch the ball but fell short. Chen would not give up another run until the seventh inning after giving up back to back hits after retiring the first two hitters and being removed from the game. Danny Santana greeted Brad Brach crunching one into the right field bleachers to allow the two Chen runners to score.

Prior to that homerun the Orioles had built a comfortable 11-2 lead with a seven run sixth. J.J. Hardy highlighted the inning punishing a 2-0 pitch and driving it into the left field bleachers. The Twins had chosen to walk the .190 hitting Chris Davis to load the bases. Caleb Joseph began the chase of Nolasco with a single to start the inning. A walk and two hits later and Ricky was gone and the slaughter had begun.

Game Notes: J.J. Hardy had an opportunity to hit three grand slams in this game. In the first and seventh innings he struck out with the bases loaded. He was successful with the swat in the sixth…The Orioles banged out 18 hits with Caleb Joseph (4), Nick Markakis (3) and David Lough (3) accounting for 10 of them…With the bases loaded in the seventh Ryan Flaherty pulled a ball deep enough to be a grand slam, but it was just foul. He struck out on the next pitch…Wei-Yen Chen struck out the first two hitters with six pitches…Ubaldo Jimenez is in danger of not making the post season roster if he doesn’t start showing he can throw strikes and get hitters out. The three walks were on 3-2 counts…The Orioles go for the four game sweep on Monday…Rookies Danny Santana and Kennys Vargas combined for 79 hits in august, the most by rookie teammates in a month since Fred Lynn and Jim Rice combined for 77 in 1975.

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