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Davis, Jones and Pearce hit home runs, Orioles blank Twins

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The Canadian Press
5/12/2013 6:04:25 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Wei-Yin Chen was on his way to pitching another strong game Sunday, then he felt some pain.

His Baltimore teammates made sure the abbreviated effort did not go to waste.

Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Steve Pearce homered and the Orioles defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-0.

Chen pitched five strong innings before leaving with a right oblique strain, and the Orioles won for the sixth time in eight games.

"In the fifth inning after the last batter, after two strikes, I just had a weird feeling and I just tried to be strong and finish out the inning," Chen said through a translator.

Chen (3-3) was breezing through the Twins lineup, allowing no runs and five hits while striking out three in five innings. He has allowed no more than three runs in seven of his eight starts this year.

Manager Buck Showalter indicated the left-hander would be re-evaluated Monday.

"It could be a cramp, it could be something else. We'll take a look and see where we're at," he said. "I'm going to think good things."

Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Brian Matusz and Pedro Strop combined for four innings of three-hit relief for Baltimore.

"We've been swinging the bats well the last few days, and it feels good to win a game by a pretty good margin," Davis said. "It takes a little bit of pressure off the bullpen and really lets us enjoy the win."

Looking for his fifth straight quality start, Scott Diamond (3-3) struggled all day. In 5 2-3 innings, he allowed nine hits and tied a career high by giving up six earned runs. He walked three after allowing that many free passes in his previous five starts combined.

"I definitely left a lot of balls up in the zone today and paid for it," he said. "I was struggling to get a grip on the ball a little bit and it seemed like I was pushing a lot of pitches rather than trying to stay on top of them. I tried to make an adjustment as the game went on and really just continued to struggle."

Nick Markakis and Manny Machado began the game with singles. After Jones grounded into a double play, Davis unloaded a 442-foot shot to straightaway centre field. His 11th homer made it 2-0.

Chris Snyder had an RBI single in the second, but ended the inning when he was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on a double by Markakis.

Markakis went 2 for 4 and is hitting .519 (27 for 52) against Minnesota since the start of last season. It is the highest average by any major league hitter with at least 40 plate appearances against any opponent in that span.

Markakis also had an outfield assist in the second, throwing out Justin Morneau, who tried to stretch a single into right into a double.

Jones lined a solo home run to left in the third, with the ball ricocheting off a railing just over the wall and up into the second deck.

"Right away (catcher Matt) Wieters wanted to know if he gets credit for where it landed, up top or down below," Showalter said.

Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but could only push across one run -- on Davis' groundout -- to make it 5-0.

Pearce hit a solo homer in the sixth.

"Scotty was basically up, couldn't get the ball down. They jumped him early in the count and never let him get into any kind of pattern, and every time he got one up they seemed to make him pay for it," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Four times in the first five innings, Minnesota's leadoff man singled, but the Twins failed to score. Brian Dozier was caught stealing, Morneau was thrown out by Markakis, Joe Mauer was stranded at first and Trevor Plouffe stuck at second.

"It's just one of those games. It happens. Through a 162-game season, you're going to have one of those games where you don't get runners on board and you don't score them," Plouffe said.

NOTES: Minnesota was shut out for the second time this season. ... Baltimore recalled LHP Mike Belfiore from Triple-A Norfolk as a corresponding roster move for optioning RHP Steve Johnson to the Tides after Saturday night's game. ... The Twins have allowed 37 first-inning runs, more than double any other inning total. ... Twins SS Pedro Florimon missed his third straight game with a tight right hamstring. ... Minnesota's Pedro Hernandez (1-0) is scheduled to face Chicago's Hector Santiago (1-1) when the Twins and White Sox start a three-game series Monday in Minnesota. ... Baltimore's Chris Tillman (3-1) is scheduled to get the ball Tuesday when the Orioles welcome San Diego to Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner (2-2) is the Padres' scheduled starter.

Chris Davis  (Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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