Orioles use long ball to get by Twins

Cedric Mullins provided one of three Baltimore home runs with a two-run shot in the fifth inning, helping the Orioles beat the visiting Minnesota Twins 7-4 on Monday night.

Ryan O’Hearn and Gunnar Henderson also homered and Jordan Westburg ripped a two-run double as the Orioles captured the opener of a three-game series. Mullins, who also made a diving catch in deep center field in the first inning, added a sacrifice fly, ending up with three RBIs.

Jose Miranda homered and drove in a run with a single and Ryan Jeffers poked a two-run double for the Twins, who have dropped back-to-back games. Both Miranda and Jeffers finished with three hits.

Dillon Tate (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief to post his first victory since Sept. 6, 2022. He followed Orioles starter Cole Irvin, who allowed two runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth and recorded two strikeouts for his fourth save.

Twins starter Louie Varland (0-3) was tagged for six runs (four earned) and 11 hits in five innings. He struck out six without yielding a walk.

Westburg had three of Baltimore’s 12 hits. He opened the scoring by lacing a two-out, bases-loaded double in the bottom of the first inning for the game’s first two runs, getting the Orioles off to a hot start en route to their second win in as many days.

O’Hearn and Henderson joined teammates Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle with two hits apiece.

Miranda’s first homer of the season came in the second inning. O’Hearn smacked his third blast of the year in the third inning, and Mullins connected for his fourth home run in the fifth to make it 6-2. Henderson’s fourth homer this season came in the sixth.

Jeffers provided his two-run double in the seventh to pull the Twins within 7-4.

Batters from both sides combined to strike out 17 times while drawing only one walk. Baltimore’s Colton Cowser fanned four times.