Closing out the first half right: 3 takeaways from the Orioles series sweep over the Minnesota Twins

The Orioles swept the Minnesota Twins in their last series before the All Star Break

Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins: Orioles infielder Adam Frazier gets a hit in a game against the Minnesota Twins
Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins: Orioles infielder Adam Frazier gets a hit in a game against the Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

After picking up wins in the last two games against the New York Yankees to salvage a split, the Orioles travelled to face the Minnesota Twins, who they lost a series to at home to start the month. They took care of business, winning all three games to sweep the Twins.

Entering the All Star Break, the Orioles have won five games in a row and six of 10. There are some takeaways to be had, so let's jump right in.

Baltimore Orioles sweep Minnesota Twins prior to All Star Break

Game 1: They can still grind out wins

Game one was a pitchers duel, with Cole Irvin and Bailey Ober fighting it out. Irvin allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and Ober one in six. In fact, it went to extra innings tied 1-1. That was when the Orioles offense pushed some more runs across. Ramón Urías did so right away, hitting a double that scored Colton Cowser. Urías then scored on a sac fly from Aaron Hicks to make it a 3-1 game.

After the two runs, Félix Bautista shut down the Twins in the bottom of the 10th, earning the win with a gutsy two inning performance. The work by the bullpen, particularly Yennier Cano and Bautista, kept the game tied and gave the offense a chance to win it. That they did, grinding this one out.

Game 2: One inning is all you need

Baseball can be funny. You could spread out runs throughout the whole game and lose, and you can score a few runs in just one inning and win. In the middle game, the Orioles scored all six of their runs in a 6-2 win in the second inning, setting the tone early.

First, it was consecutive bases loaded walks from Cowser and Urías to put the Orioles in front 2-1. Adam Frazier then made it 4-1 with a two run single to left field. Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Santander added RBI singles of their own to make it 6-1, opening up the game.

That was when Tyler Wells took over the game. Staked to a five run lead, Wells pitched six innings of two run, six hit, two walk ball to earn his seventh win of the season. Hat tip to Bryan Baker for two shutout innings before former Twin Danny Coulombe closed out the win.

Sometimes, one inning of scoring is all you need. Saturday was a perfect example of that, as the Orioles plated six runs early and then let the pitching staff take care of the rest, sealing the series victory before the All Star Break.

Game 3: The power is still there

After winning game one on a double and a sac fly and game two on singles and walks, the Orioles proved that they could still blast long balls with the best of them in the sweep securing win. The Orioles bashed six home runs, with Austin Hays, Adley Rutschman, Urías, Hicks, and Santander twice doing the honors.

Hicks and Urías paced the Orioles offense with 3 RBIs each, while Rutschman, Santander, and Hays had two RBIs each. Henderson, Mullins, and the returning Ryan Mountcastle drove in a run each as well.

On the mound, Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings of two run ball, getting the win to inch closer to the 100 win milestone. Nick Vespi and Eduard Bazardo handled the final two innings, with Bazardo picking up a strikeout.

Up next

The All Star Break is coming, with four members of the Orioles set to play in the game on Tuesday, with Austin Hays being a starter in the outfield. On Monday, you'll see Rutschman in the home run derby before he plays in the game on Tuesday.