Buxton's 2-run home run lifts Twins to 3-2 win, ends López's streak; Watkins retires final 15 batters; Minor league update - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Buxton’s 2-run home run lifts Twins to 3-2 win, ends López’s streak; Watkins retires final 15 batters; Minor league update

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Becker USA Today Sports

Relief pitcher Jorge López hadn’t allowed a home run this season, and the Orioles hadn’t lost a game they led entering the ninth inning. Both streaks ended on Friday night when Byron Buxton, the second batter in the ninth, hit a two-run home run to give the Minnesota Twins a 3-2 win over the Orioles at Target Field

The Orioles (35-43) led 2-1 after eight.

After Oriole starter Spenser Watkins allowed the Minnesota Twins a run on three hits and a walk in the first inning, he retired the final 15 batters he faced. Cionél Perez and Félix Bautista retired the six batters they faced to run the streak to 21 before the Orioles turned to their closer, López.

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Luis Arraez singled to lead off the ninth on the ninth pitch from López. After Nick Gordon pinch-ran, Buxton hit his 21st home run on a 1-2 slider that caught too much of the plate. When it landed in the left-field stands, the Orioles had a three-game-losing streak, their longest since they lost a season-high six straight from May 13th-18th.

López hadn’t allowed a home run in 37 innings, and the Orioles were 29-0 when leading after eight.

The Orioles are 2-3 against Minnesota (44-36) this season, and they’re 4-4 on their 10-game road trip. They won three of four in Chicago, lost two of three in Seattle and have two more games against the Twins this weekend.

Ryan McKenna, who started in left field and had an outstanding game, doubled and scored from third base in the top of the eighth with the go-ahead run.

McKenna hit his double against Caleb Theilbar. He moved to third on an infield out by Trey Mancini, who was trying to hit the ball to the right side. McKenna scored when second baseman Jorge Polanco threw home wildly after Jorge Mateo grounded to him.

The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when José Miranda singled to left with two outs, scoring  Arraez. McKenna threw out Carlos Correa out at the plate to end the inning, with the help of an excellent tag from catcher Adley Rutschman.

McKenna robbed Arraez of an extra-base hit in the sixth with a diving catch toward the left-field line.

The Orioles tied it, 1-1, in the top of the third when a double by Cedric Mullins scored Mateo, who had walked.

After the inning, manager Brandon Hyde was ejected by home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus, whose strike zone was questioned throughout the game.

In two starts since his recall from Triple-A Norfolk, Watkins has allowed one earned run on eight hit in 11 innings.

Notes:  Mancini, who pinch-hit in the eighth, didn’t start because he was resting his sore right hand. He told reporters in Minneapolis that he had a cortisone injection and he’s hoping to start on Saturday. Mancini has been dealing with the hand injury since he was hit by a pitch by Toronto’s Alek Manoah on June 13th. … Infielder Ramón Urías, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left oblique muscle, could begin a rehab stint with Double-A Bowie as soon as Saturday. … Jordan Lyles (4-7, 4.94) will face Sonny Gray (4-1, 2.17) on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. … The Orioles, who play at home on July 4th for the first time since 2008, will allow fans who’d like to attend the fireworks at the Inner Harbor to keep their cars in stadium parking lots without an additional charge.

Minor league update: DL Hall threw four scoreless, one-hit innings and Chris Vallimont pitched five hitless innings as Norfolk beat Gwinnett 2-0. Hall struck out eight and walked one, throwing 71 pitches. Vallimont (1-1) struck out six and walked one.

Kelvin Gutiérrez hit his fourth home run.

Connor Norby had two hits and centerfielder Hudson Haskin hit his 10th home run as Double-A Bowie beat Richmond, 4-2. It was the fourth straight win for the Baysox. Adam Stauffer (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out five and walking two.

Ignacio Feliz (4-2) allowed four runs on four hits in four innings, walking five in High-A Aberdeen’s 9-2 loss to Winston-Salem. Catcher Andres Angulo hit his first home run.

Heston Kjerstad hit his second home run in Single-A Delmarva’s 9-2 loss to Fredericksburg. Kjerstad was 2-for-4 and is hitting .433. He has a 13-game hitting streak.

Yaqui Rivera allowed seven runs, six earned while recording only one out.

Norby had two hits and centerfielder Hudson Haskin hit his 10th home run as Double-A Bowie beat Richmond 4-2. It was the fourth straight win for the Baysox.

Adam Stauffer (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out five and walking two.

Ignacio Feliz (4-2) allowed four runs on four hits in four innings, walking five in High-A Aberdeen’s 9-2 loss to Winston-Salem.

Catcher Andres Angulo hit his first home run.

Heston Kjerstad hit his second home run in Single-A Delmarva’s 9-2 loss to Fredericksburg.

Kjerstad was 2-for-4 and is hitting .433. He has a 13-game hitting streak.

Yaqui Rivera allowed seven runs, six earned while recording only one out.

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