The Baltimore Orioles are on a roll. Unfortunately, another losing streak is bound to ruin the fun.
Ryan Minor hit his first major league homer for the Orioles and Jeff Conine went 4-for-4 for the second time in the series. He went 9-for-11 with three doubles and four RBIs in the three games.
"Unfortunately, we haven't done a real consistent job this year," Conine said. "That's been our problem."
The Orioles are 5-1 against the Twins, but 0-6 against Cleveland and 10-26 against the AL East, including 1-11 versus Toronto.
"If you want to win the division, you have to beat the good teams and you have to be consistent all year," Baltimore manager Ray Miller said. "You can't just win in spurts."
Denny Hocking homered for the Twins, outscored 19-6 in the series. Minnesota is 2-14 at Camden Yards during the last three seasons.
The Twins know a little something about inconsistency they split four games with the Yankees in New York before flopping in Baltimore.
"We played well in New York. We thought we would come here and get it going," losing pitcher Dan Perkins said. "But (Scott) Erickson did a great job last night and Johnson did well today. Good pitching is always going to beat good hitting."
Jhnson (4-7), who yielded 14 runs in six innings over his previous two starts, blanked the Twins through the first five innings as Baltimore built a 7-0 lead. He allowed three runs, had a career-high seven strikeouts and walked three.
"When I came out of the bullpen I had a game plan that I was going to throw first-pitch strikes and get ahead of everybody," Johnson said. "I just let them hit the ball and let my defense do the job."
Perkins (1-7) gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings to remain winless since May 24.
"It was a not a very good today," he said. "I just didn't get the job done. I felt good, but I just wasn't throwing strikes."
He threw 83 pitches, including 38 balls.
Baltimore got a run in the first inning on successive doubles by Mike Bordick and B.J. Surhoff. A single and an error enabled the Orioles to put runners and second and third with no outs in the second, but Perkins worked out of the jam.
He wasn't as lucky in the third. Surhoff led off with a walk and scored on a double by Albert Belle. Conine then hit an RBI double for a 3-0 lead.
Minor led off the fourth with a 360-foot drive to left, his first homer in 64 official at-bats over two seasons. After Perkins gave up a walk and a single in the fifth, DeShields lined Bob Wells' fourth pitch an estimated 395 feet into the right-field seats.
Baltimore made 9-1 in its half on a sacrifice fly by Harold Baines and an RBI single by Conine. Hocking hit his sixth homer of the season with a runner on in the seventh.
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