Orioles 12, Twins 3
Thanks to Baltimore's bats, the celebratory champagne is still chilling in Minnesota.
Miguel Tejada homered twice and drove in five runs, rookie Daniel Cabrera threw six strong innings and the Orioles beat the Twins, 12-3, on Saturday.
After winning nine straight, the Twins have been outscored 23-5 in two games by the Orioles -- keeping the celebration of their third consecutive AL Central title on hold for a bit.
Minnesota's magic number to clinch remained at three before the second-place Chicago White Sox hosted the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
"We're not worried that we're gagging or anything," Manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're a pretty good baseball team."
Tejada boosted his major league-leading RBI total to 131 with a double in the third, a solo homer in the sixth and a towering three-run shot in a seven-run eighth in which Baltimore sent 12 batters to the plate against three Twins relievers.
"He's been doing it all year," Baltimore Manager Lee Mazzilli said.
Jay Gibbons went 3 for 5 with three RBI for the Orioles, who have won 10 of their last 12 road games. Cabrera (12-7) allowed just three hits, including Corey Koskie's two-run homer, while walking three and striking out three.
Minnesota starter Brad Radke (11-8) needed 79 pitches to get through three innings. He gave up five hits, three runs, two walks and struck out one.
J.D. Durbin relieved, and he needed 54 pitches to get five outs. The Orioles left nine on base in the second through the fifth, temporarily minimizing the damage, but the Twins wound up throwing 230 pitches -- allowing 18 hits and issuing seven walks.
"We were on the defensive side of the ball for a long, long time," Gardenhire said after the game that lasted 3 hours, 24 minutes.
Brian Roberts homered, doubled and drove in two runs, Melvin Mora went 3 for 6 and scored twice and every Baltimore starter reached base at least twice.
"When they're hitting the ball around, that's a pretty good lineup," Radke said. "You've got to pretty much be on top of your game to get those guys out."
Tejada's first season with the Orioles has been brilliant. With 16 games left, he's batting .306 and is 11 RBI shy of the team record Rafael Palmeiro established in 1996.
"I worked hard in the offseason to get in shape," Tejada said. "If I break the record, I'll be happy to see it. What I most want to do is hit .300."
Cabrera, who walked six in his last start that lasted just 12/3 innings against the Yankees, beat the Twins for the second time in two weeks.
"Last game in New York, I didn't have my control," Cabrera said. "If I've got my control, I can get them to make outs."
Radke's last three starts were impeccable -- two wins, 22 innings, 17 hits, two runs, one walk and 13 strikeouts. He had gone seven-plus innings in eight of his last 11 outings.
"I felt a little drained," Radke said. "Just didn't have much energy. I'm not too worried about it. I still have a couple starts left before the real season begins."
One bright spot for Minnesota was the return of Koskie, who missed the last 19 games with a sprained ankle. His two-run shot in the fourth cut Baltimore's lead to 3-2.
Koskie was on a career-high 14-game hitting streak in which he batted .358 with seven homers and 14 RBI, until his foot was pinned underneath Anaheim's Curtis Pride in a collision at third base on Aug. 27.
Twins left fielder Michael Restovich, filling in for the injured Shannon Stewart, made two outstanding catches to save three runs. His diving grab of Gibbons' line drive with the bases loaded turned a two-run double into a sacrifice fly, and he jumped above the wall to steal a homer from Javy Lopez in the seventh.