Twins lose first home series since June
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Johnson was thrilled that Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove didn't act on his first instinct.
Melvin Mora was glad the skipper also disregarded his second.
Mora hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to lift Johnson and the Orioles over the Minnesota Twins 3-1 Thursday night.
"When he swung 2-0 at the slider I wanted to strangle him," Hargrove said of Mora, who homered on a 2-2 pitch leading off the eighth. "But I wanted to kiss him when he hit the ball out of the park."
Chris Singleton also homered for the Orioles, who have won five of six against Minnesota the last two weeks. Overall, Baltimore has won 10 of its last 15 games.
The Twins have lost eight of 10.
Johnson (4-9) allowed one run, struck out five and walked one in seven strong innings. But he was nearly lifted before snapping his four-game losing streak.
"I debated taking him out before the seventh," Hargrove said. "But he kind of recovered and kept the ball down."
Johnson improved to 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA in five career appearances against the Twins.
"I felt really good tonight, and Singleton hitting that first-inning home run helped me get a little more relaxed," Johnson said.
One night after blowing a ninth-inning lead, Jorge Julio got two outs for his 25th save in 31 chances.
Kyle Lohse (10-7) gave up just two runs in seven-plus innings for Twins, who lost a home series for the first time since dropping two of three games to the Atlanta Braves June 10-12.
"We got a very good pitching performance, but unfortunately so did they," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going through a struggle right now. Baseball runs in hot and cold streaks."