- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS | Radhames Liz made a solid 2008 debut and got help from homers by Kevin Millar and Melvin Mora in Baltimore’s 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins last night.

Liz (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Orioles, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Minnesota and improved to 25-8 when scoring at least four runs in a game.

Kevin Slowey (2-5) gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings for the Twins, who got going a little too late against Liz.

The 24-year-old Dominican breezed through the first five innings, allowing just one hit and one walk as the Orioles jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

The Twins got three straight doubles in the sixth from Carlos Gomez, Alexi Casilla and Joe Mauer to cut the deficit to 4-2, ending Liz’s night. Matt Albers allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings of relief, and George Sherrill picked up his 19th save in 21 chances.

It had to be an encouraging sign for Liz, who was roughed up by the Twins in his major league debut in August and was just 1-5 with a 4.05 ERA at Class AAA Norfolk this season.

With a big leg kick and a fastball that reached 94 mph, Liz retired 16 of the first 18 batters he faced and mixed in plenty of offspeed pitches to keep the Twins off balance.

Slowey, the Twins’ 2007 minor league pitcher of the year, has been compared to the retired Brad Radke early in his career largely because of his reliance on location rather than overpowering stuff. But the two right-handers share something else in common - a propensity to give up the long ball.

Coming off his first career complete game against Kansas City last week, Slowey gave up leadoff homers to Millar in the second and Mora in the sixth and has allowed 22 homers in 18 career starts.

He yielded to Juan Rincon to start the seventh, and the struggling reliever gave up a leadoff double to Ramon Hernandez, threw a wild pitch and then allowed an RBI single by Adam Jones that gave Baltimore a 5-2 lead.

Jones finished with two hits and two RBI.

- Baltimore left-hander Adam Loewen (elbow) will throw one inning in extended spring training today. If all goes well, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said, Loewen will leave extended spring to start a rehab assignment. …

Trembley on the decision to designate shortstop Luis Hernandez for assignment: “Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can take a step forward.” …

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was in the lineup again despite a sore left knee and a sore calf. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he might give Morneau a day or two at DH to let him rest.

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