Orioles walk off for 3-2 season-opening win over Twins
BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Orioles had already endured two rain delays, blown a two-run lead and used six pitchers.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning in a tie game, it was time to put a memorable ending on a very long day.
Matt Wieters singled with two outs to score the winning run, sparking a celebration on the field and in the stands following a 3-2 season-opening victory over the Minnesota Twins.
“A lot of people, most of all our fans, have put a lot of time and effort into making this a special day,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And we didn’t want to let them down.”
A game that was scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m. EDT finally ended at 8:44, even though the playing time was only 2 hours, 48 minutes.
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki tied the game at 2 in the seventh inning when his foul fly to left field was caught by Joey Rickard, allowing Byung Ho Park to score. Suzuki, a Baldwin High School graduate playing in his 10th major league season, finished the game 0-for-3.
In the ninth, Chris Davis drew a two-out walk from Kevin Jepsen (0-1). After newcomer Mark Trumbo followed with his fourth single, Wieters lined a single up the middle.
“It was a nice win,” said Wieters, a career .388 hitter with runners on third and two outs. “You want to win the first one, but to be able to sit around here as much as we did today, it’s a lot better feeling going home with a win.”
Zach Britton (1-0) worked a perfect ninth. Baltimore has won 13 of its last 16 openers, including six straight.
Minnesota hasn’t won on opening day since 2008.
“A tough day. It was a long day,” manager Paul Molitor said.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman retired all six batters he faced – striking out the last five – before the second rain delay ended his third consecutive opening-day start.
Ervin Santana also threw two scoreless innings for the Twins, allowing two hits and two walks in his first opening-day assignment.