Thursday, May 6, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS | Ty Wigginton hit his 10th home run, just one short of his total last season, and starter Brad Bergesen was at his best for the Baltimore Orioles in a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on a damp Thursday night.

Carl Pavano (3-3) lost his second straight eight-inning, two-run performance. He went right at the free-swinging Orioles, throwing 70 of 97 pitches for strikes, but Wigginton spoiled the outing. With the homer, Wigginton moved into second place behind Chicago’s Paul Konerko (12) on the American League home run list.

After failing to last past the fifth in each of his first four starts, Bergesen (2-2) scattered six hits and two walks over 6 2-3 innings. Will Ohman relieved him and walked Justin Morneau to load the bases, but blew strike two and three past Jim Thome’s big bat to end the seventh.

Alfredo Simon pitched the ninth for his third save to finish the game in 2 hours, 17 minutes.

The Twins enjoyed a sunny, mostly warm first homestand in April, but the weather has been less than ideal so far in May. The first-pitch temperature was 52 degrees and though there was hardly any wind the rain came in the second inning and kept up at a steady pace. Still, in their first outdoor experience since 1981 before the move to the Metrodome, not one of the 13 games at Target Field have been delayed by even a minute.

Bergesen went 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 19 starts last year as a rookie for the Orioles, before his season was cut short at the end of July by a scary line off the shin. The right-hander then hurt his shoulder before spring training throwing too hard too soon while he filmed a commercial for the team.

His first four starts couldn’t have been much worse, with a mere 15 1-3 innings accumulated and 28 hits and 24 runs allowed. But armed with Wigginton’s no-doubt, two-run drive to left field in the second, Bergesen settled in the steady drizzle.

Michael Cuddyer hit a deep drive to center with three men on in the second, but Adam Jones caught it on the warning track. The Twins fell to 7 for 47 with the bases loaded this season, dropping only their fourth game in 13 contests at Target Field.

This was the first visit to the limestone-and-glass ballpark for the Orioles, who have gone 6-5 since their 2-16 start but still have baseball’s worst record.

NOTES: Orioles RH Koji Uehara came off the disabled list before the game and pitched a perfect eighth. The 35-year-old, making $5 million this season, appeared for the first time since elbow tendinitis knocked him out last June. “I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch and getting him in there when we can,” manager Dave Trembley said before the game. Uehara, the Orioles’ first Japan-born player, will only be used for an inning at a time. … Twins RH Pat Neshek, on the DL with what was initially diagnosed as inflammation of the middle finger on his pitching hand, is now reporting discomfort closer to the middle of his hand. “I have all the confidence in the world that our doctors are doing everything they possibly can to help this young man out,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. … Before the game, the crowd observed a moment of silence to honor the death of Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, who spent three seasons with Baltimore toward the end of his career. … The Twins have been outhomered at home 14-7 this year. … Pavano induced three double plays. He pitched with a full week of a rest, due to a stiff neck and a slight rotation shuffle.

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