Play it again -- Twins 8, Orioles 1

August 26, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

Bringing the heat

Making his major league debut, 24-year-old Radhames Liz wasn't trying to fool the Minnesota Twins. Eighteen of his 19 pitches in the first inning were fastballs, one of them clocked at 100 mph. Every pitch in the second was a fastball except for the slider that froze Michael Cuddyer and ended the inning. He mixed in three changeups and two sliders among his 21 pitches in the third, when Jason Bartlett's two-run single -- on a 96-mph fastball -- gave the Twins a 2-0 lead.

Not so hot

Liz retired seven in a row, and nine of 10, heading into the sixth inning. Then it went bad. Jason Tyner singled and Bartlett walked. Liz kept falling behind hitters, and it cost him. Joe Mauer flied out, with both runners advancing on Corey Patterson's ill-advised throw to third, and Torii Hunter crushed a 97-mph fastball for a three-run homer that gave the Twins a 5-1 lead. Liz battled back to strike out Justin Morneau and Cuddyer on a slider and changeup, respectively.

Getting on board

Two singles and two walks produced one run for the Orioles in the third inning against hard-throwing right-hander Matt Garza. Brian Roberts and Patterson singled with one out, and Patterson hustled to second as third baseman Brian Buscher became entangled with Roberts. Nick Markakis grounded to the right side to score Roberts. If there was a good time to pull the ball, this was it. Miguel Tejada and Kevin Millar walked, but were stranded.

On deck

One more strikeout and Erik Bedard will break Mike Mussina's single-season Orioles record of 218. You have to like his chances. He'll oppose right-hander Scott Baker today. Bedard is 0-4 with a 3.99 ERA lifetime against the Twins. They roughed him up on Opening Day, when he allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Bedard hasn't lost since June 10 against the Colorado Rockies, winning his past nine decisions.

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