BALTIMORE (AP)At the end of another solid outing, Chris Paddack left some unfinished business for his bullpen to clean up.
Joe Smith immediately induced an inning-ending double play, and the Minnesota relievers kept right on rolling from there.
”I was about to go hug him on the mound,” Paddack said.
Paddack pitched effectively into the sixth, and the Twins’ bullpen didn’t allow a hit after he left, holding off the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 on Monday night. Carlos Correa hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth that sent Minnesota to its 10th win in 11 games.
Paddack (1-2) allowed a run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander left the game with men on first and third and one out. Smith got Ryan Mountcastle to bounce into a double play that kept the Twins up by a run.
Griffin Jax and Emilio Pagan each worked an inning, and hard-throwing rookie Jhoan Duran pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.
”That’s why I work so hard, to be in situations like that, and to prove myself,” Duran said through a translator.
The Twins were shut out in two of Paddack’s first three starts this season but gave him just enough run support to win this time.
”We gave up two runs to a really good team,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. ”We just didn’t score. … We gave up two runs to a first-place club.”
Tyler Wells allowed a run and four hits in five innings for Baltimore. Bryan Baker (1-1) allowed a leadoff single in the sixth to Byron Buxton, who went to second on a groundout and scored on Correa’s single.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Ryan Jeffers. The Orioles tied it in the bottom half when Rougned Odor hit a leadoff triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by Ramon Urias.
Minnesota third baseman Jose Miranda made his big-league debut. Ranked as baseball’s No. 93 prospect by MLB Pipeline, he went hitless in four at-bats.
”I thought he was really relaxed,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. ”First at-bat, I think we made two outs on two pitches right before he went up there. We told him, if he gets a good pitch to hit, be ready to hit it – don’t go up there just to take. He did take one. He might’ve wanted to do that, he might’ve done it because the potential for a three-pitch inning wasn’t something he wanted to dabble in.”
Duran has 19 strikeouts and two walks in 12 innings this year. He’d never had a save in the minors either, since he was almost exclusively a starter.
Pagan and Jax also have saves for the Twins this season, and Baldelli seemed noncommittal about how often Duran would close in the future.
”We’ve mixed him in to some different spots. Every game we play is different,” Baldelli said. ”There were a few reasons why he pitched the ninth today. It wasn’t just because we wanted him to throw the ninth inning. … He did throw two innings two days ago, and we didn’t want him hot the inning before, not bring him in, sit him down, kind of cools off a little bit, get him back. We wanted to just give him an inning and let him go to work.”
The combination of Minnesota’s impressive run and the mediocrity of the rest of the AL Central means that the Twins lead the division by 3 1/2 games over Cleveland – the largest division lead at the moment for any team in baseball.
Twins: Minnesota put INF Miguel Sano (left knee sprain) and OF Kyle Garlick (right calf strain) on the 10-day injured list.
Orioles: Trey Mancini (ribs) missed a third straight game.
The Orioles send Bruce Zimmermann (1-1) to the mound against Minnesota’s Joe Ryan (3-1) on Tuesday night. Ryan threw seven scoreless innings against Detroit in his last start.
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