April 27, 2019 / 9:59 PM / a month ago

Kepler homers twice in Twins' win over Orioles

EditorsNote: Updated Trey Mancini’s injury status in eighth graph; other minor tweaks

Apr 27, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Max Kepler homered twice as Minnesota hit five home runs for the second straight day and defeated the visiting Baltimore Orioles 9-2 in a Saturday matinee.

The five homers upped Minnesota’s total to 21 in five games against the Orioles this season. Kepler homered in the seventh and eighth innings and finished with four RBIs while C.J. Cron, Jason Castro and Marwin Gonzalez also went deep.

Gonzalez, Castro and Kepler homered in a four-run eighth against Jimmy Yacabonis. Castro and Kepler went back-to-back. The Twins also hit five homers in their 6-1 victory in Friday’s series opener.

Minnesota is 5-0 this season against the Orioles and has won 11 straight dating to 2018.

Jose Berrios (4-1) earned the victory, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings, his second win over the Orioles in a week.

Baltimore starter Dan Straily got a no-decision and gave up one unearned run on three hits. But the right-hander lasted just four innings, throwing 89 pitches.

The Orioles suffered a big loss in the first inning when top hitter Trey Mancini appeared to have injured his right hand or wrist during an at-bat. He blooped a single to center but came out after getting to first base.

Mancini came into the game leading the American League in hits and now has 39 with a .355 average. He suffered a bruised right index finger, and is listed as day-to-day.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead on Kepler’s sacrifice fly in the third inning. Straily’s throwing error helped set that up, and Willians Astudillo scored on the play.

Astudillo came out after the third due to hamstring tightness.

The Orioles tied the score on a Rio Ruiz single in the fourth. They took the lead when Hanser Alberto — batting in Mancini’s spot — singled with two outs in the fifth.

But Minnesota then started its power game. The Twins grabbed the lead back at 3-2 in the sixth when Cron hit a two-run homer off Paul Fry (0-1) with two outs.

Tanner Scott came on to pitch for Baltimore in the seventh, and Kepler hit a two-run homer to right field for a 5-2 lead.

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