Twins Sweep Aside the Orioles Rather Easily
Twins 12-12, Orioles 2-6
Sunday, September 14, 2008; Page D05
BALTIMORE, Sept. 13 -- Despite a plea by Baltimore Orioles Manager Dave Trembley for his team to raise its level of play for the season's waning days, it was easy to distinguish the team engaged in a tight playoff race from the one headed for a last-place finish.
The Orioles were outpitched, outslugged and outworked as the Minnesota Twins swept a doubleheader at Camden Yards on Saturday, beating the Orioles 12-2 in the first game and 12-6 in the second.
The defeat in the nightcap guaranteed that the Orioles would finish with a losing record for the 11th consecutive year, the American League's longest stretch of futility.
Only the Pittsburgh Pirates -- 16 straight seasons -- have been worse.
Before Friday's rainout, Trembley called a 15-minute meeting to drive home the importance of finishing strong. And on Saturday, he followed the gathering by going along established baseball etiquette by trotting out most of his team's regulars to face the Twins, who entered play just a game behind the Chicago White Sox for the lead in the AL Central.
But the Orioles' everyday players could do nothing to escape their brutal fate.
After sweeping the doubleheader, the Twins moved into a first-place tie in the division, joining the White Sox because their doubleheader was postponed.
The Orioles, meanwhile, inched closer to reaching another dubious milestone, their first basement finish since the infamous 1988 season.
Over the two games, Carlos Gómez knocked in six runs, Denard Span drove in five and Justin Morneau had four RBI, which continued the Orioles' crash landing. Baltimore has lost four of its last five games, and 17 of its last 20.
The Twins pulled away by jumping on pitchers Daniel Cabrera and Garrett Olson, neither of whom could end what's been an epidemic of horrendous pitching.
Cabrera gave up three runs while laboring through 561/37 innings and set the tone for a game in which the Orioles spotted Minnesota a season-high 10 walks.
Cabrera's issues with command took full view and his velocity remained in the high 80s and low 90s, a discouraging sign for somebody known as a power pitcher.