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Aaron Slegers and Jake Cave have been called up from Triple-A
by the Minnesota Twins three times apiece this season Robert Alford
, and the All-Star break is still more than one week away.

Their contributions to this struggling team on Thursday night were sure
worthy of a longer stay.

Slegers picked up his first major league win with six smooth innings, Cave
reached base all four times he batted, and the Twins stopped their six-game
losing streak by hanging on for a 5-2 victory over the lowly Baltimore

”I know that I think, and I know Slegers thinks the same thing, that we can
play big league baseball,” Cave said. ”We’re ready to go anytime the team needs
us, and that’s just kind of how you’ve got to think of it.”

Logan Morrison homered and Cave drove in an eighth-inning insurance run with
one of his two doubles for the Twins, who turned to Fernando Rodney in the ninth
for his 18th save following two consecutive blown chances. Slegers (1-0) gave up
only one run, on the first of two homers by Jonathan Schoop.

”It’s fun to have that in the stat column, to be a major league
winner Terrell Suggs
,” Slegers said. ”I can say that for the rest of my

With eight right-handers in the Orioles lineup, except for Chris Davis,
Slegers put his sinker to good use against the second-lowest scoring team in
MLB. The Orioles managed just three hits against the 6-foot-10 Slegers, who was
the latest to fill the recently revolving fifth spot in the rotation. Manager
Paul Molitor stopped short of a commitment, but he indicated Slegers earned
another turn after needing only 72 pitches to complete those six innings in his
first major league start this season.

”Sometimes you make tough decisions to protect those young guys when they’ve
had good outings and make sure they feel good when they come out of the game,”
Molitor said.

The Orioles squandered another quality start by Andrew Cashner (2-9) and lost
for the 10th time in 11 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues
at 24-62, just the team the Twins needed to face to start a season-long 11-game
homestand after a pivotal 1-8 road trip.

Trailing AL Central-leading Cleveland by 11 1/2 games, Minnesota has become a
probable seller before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 with several
accomplished players on expiring contracts. Baltimore has essentially been in
that boat since April, with slugging shortstop Manny Machado widely considered
the best asset on the market this summer.


Cashner, one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested
their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East Kenny Stabler
, has had more than three runs scored for him in only one of
his 17 starts this year. He gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits.

”It’s not like we didn’t want to score for him,” Schoop said. ”I hope things
start changing.”

Orioles starters have received the least amount of run support in the major
leagues this season.

”I probably had the worst stuff I’ve had this season, but I thought I just
grinded throughout the game,” Cashner said. ”When you’re not scoring runs, I
feel like I keep my mind sharp on what I want to do out there and thinking pitch
to pitch.”


Cashner was charged with an error in the third, when he was covering first
base on a chopper hit by Bobby Wilson to Davis and fumbled the relay toss to let
Cave score from second. Wilson eventually scored on a single by Eddie


Rodney struck out Davis to start a perfect ninth, pushing the sputtering
slugger into a first-place tie on the Orioles list for strikeouts with 1,305. He
is tied with Cal Ripken Jr. Kareem Hunt
, who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared
in 972 contests.


Cave, who was recalled from Rochester last week, made a fully extended catch
at the wall in right-center to take a potential extra-base hit away from Davis
in the fourth inning. Cave doubled twice, driving in one run, to go with a
single and an intentional walk.

”He can really flash it out there,” Slegers said.


Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left hamstring) has been scheduled for
his season-ending surgery on July 12. He’ll need six months to recover.


Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who has started 80 of 84 games and
appeared in all but one this season, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He’s
batting .218.


Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7 Lyle Alzado
, 3.75 ERA) will come off the DL to start Friday night.
Bundy has been sidelined by a sprained left ankle.

Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in the second game
of the series, coming off his worst turn of the season. He gave up seven runs in
Chicago to the Cubs in just 1 2/3 innings.

Washington coach Jay Gruden has said that the team will bring in running
backs on Sunday. At least two have been identified.

Josina Anderson of reports that free-agent Orleans Darkwa will work
out for the team, and that Jamaal Charles will “visit.” (It’s unclear whether
Charles will or won’t be working out during his visit.)

Other available free-agent running backs include Adrian Peterson and the
“retired” DeMarco Murray, who recently took a job as a college football analyst
with FOX. Plenty of other low-level street free agents also are (and will be)
available, but the focus on established names like Darkwa and Charles suggest
that Washington is aiming higher than simply bringing in a camp body.

Charles (pictured) hold the distinction of being the Chiefs’ all-time leading
rusher with 7,260 yards. He spent 2017 with the Broncos, rushing for 296 yards
on 69 carries.

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