MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the first inning against Francisco Liriano and the Baltimore Orioles hung on to beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Josh Willingham's home run in the fourth was all Minnesota could manage against Tommy Hunter (4-4), who returned to Baltimore's stumbling rotation with a solid performance that lasted one out into the eighth inning.
Liriano (3-9) recovered after giving up the ball Jones crushed into the back of the second deck in left field, striking out 10 batters in six innings. His 25 strikeouts over his last two starts are a career best for consecutive outings, and this was only the third time he's posted consecutive double-digit strikeout totals.
Hunter was slightly better, limiting the Twins to six hits.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire left Minnesota's game against Baltimore because of a stomach virus.
The Twins announced in the eighth inning Wednesday night that Gardenhire had left the ballpark and went home because of the illness. Bench coach Scott Ullger took over, and the Orioles won 2-1. Ullger said afterward that Gardenhire departed in the fifth and that he should be fine.
This isn't the first time Gardenhire has been sick. He's left the dugout several times before because he wasn't feeling well, and in 2005 had a series of heart palpitations that sent him for medical testing.
He is in his 11th season as Twins manager.The shoulder injury that sent Minnesota closer Matt Capps back to the disabled list has worsened, and the right-hander will miss the next several weeks.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Wednesday the MRI on Capps' shoulder showed more irritation in his rotator cuff. He will be shut down indefinitely, longer than the 15-day minimum stay. Capps first went to the DL on June 25. He came off last Friday, pitched twice and had to be put back on with more discomfort.
Ryan says he hopes Capps can heal with rest and therapy, rather than surgery. With the Twins out of the race, Capps could have been dealt to a contender before the deadline. Ryan says he's more concerned about Capps' health than "worrying about a trade chip."