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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 [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/corey-linsley-jersey-cheap]Corey Linsley Jersey[/url] , 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 Orioles.

”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,” Slegers said. ”I can say that for the rest of my life.”

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.

CASHED OUT

Cashner, one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East, 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.”

WHOOPS

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 Rosario.

WHIFFS

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., who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared in 972 contests.

MAN, CAVE

Cave [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/bryan-bulaga-jersey-cheap]Bryan Bulaga Jersey[/url] , 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.

TRAINER’S ROOM

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.

DOZIER’S DAY

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.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 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.



It was a long and odd day, one that started with teenager Juan Soto homering in a game that officially was played before he made his major league debut.

Huh?

Soto delivered a tiebreaking, pinch-hit, two-run shot in the sixth inning of a game that began and was suspended because of rain last month, five days before he was called up from the minors for the first time, to lift the Washington Nationals to a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees in the opener of an unusual semi-doubleheader Monday.

”Geez, he has a bright future. How old is he, 19? You don’t see too many 19-year-olds doing what he’s doing,” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said about Soto. ”I’m excited to see him develop for years to come.”

In Game 2, Judge made two key catches of balls hit by Trea Turner, including one on the warning track that bailed out Aroldis Chapman with two men on in the bottom of the ninth to end it, and the Yankees grabbed a 4-2 victory with the help of Aaron Hicks‘ go-ahead two-run homer.

That final-out fly ”got me to hold my breath for a sec,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Throw in a trade by Washington to add reliever Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals, full-throated chants of ”Let’s go, Yankees!” from portions of the sellout crowd of 42,723, and all in all, so much happened at Nationals Park.

”That,” Nationals closer Sean Doolittle said, summing up things neatly, ”was weird.”

Game 1 resumed with the score 3-all and the Nationals about to bat in the bottom of the sixth. After Bryce Harper – who had a full beard back on May 15, when the game began, but was clean-shaven this time – struck out, and Anthony Rendon singled [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/nick-perry-jersey-cheap]Nick Perry Jersey[/url] , Soto drove a 97 mph fastball from Chad Green (4-1) to the back of the second deck in right field.

”I thought he had a good chance to hit the ball hard,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”That was hard.”

It was Soto’s sixth homer since he was brought up from Double-A Harrisburg on May 20 – and half have come against the Yankees. Soto stood and admired this one before beginning his trot around the bases.

”A lot of people tell me, `Hey, you’re killing the Yankees,'” Soto said. ”Everybody knows the Yankees, likes the Yankees. That feels pretty good.”

Soto also was involved in a double play while playing left in the seventh. Didi Gregorius lined to Soto, and he lobbed the ball to shortstop Turner, who sprinted to second base to double off Gary Sanchez.

Soto’s stats – and all others from Game 1 – will count as being part of the originally scheduled game on May 15, but Soto’s debut will still be considered to have come on the actual date it happened, May 20, according to the Nationals, citing the Elias Sports Bureau.

Wander Suero (1-0) got the win for 1 1-3 scoreless innings – one inning on May 15, and one out on Monday.

Doolittle struck out Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, then got Sanchez to fly out to center in the ninth for his 18th save.

The Nationals had lost five of six games entering the day.

Game 2, which was completely rained out May 16, began a half-hour after Game 1 finished, and Washington led 2-1 before Hicks’ ninth homer, which came in the fifth against Erick Fedde (0-2) and got plenty of Yankees fans excited – and loud.

The rookie righty lost to the Yankees for the second time in less than a week, giving up three runs in 5 1-3 innings this time.

Stanton provided some cushion with an RBI double off Sammy Solis in the seventh, part of a 4-for-5 showing in Game 2.

Sonny Gray (5-4) allowed two runs in five-plus innings, with Mark Reynolds driving in both.

HARPER’S DAY

Harper’s batting average is .212 after he went 0 for 5 on Monday, with two strikeouts, three groundouts and a walk. He has one hit in his last 27 at-bats. ”He’s just in one of those little funks, where you’re kind of happy to face him right now,” Boone said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: OF Brett Gardner didn’t play, a day after an MRI exam showed swelling in his right knee. Boone doesn’t expect Gardner to go on the DL.

Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson, on the DL for two weeks with a strained right hamstring, took fielding practice before the start of play Monday and said he ”felt fine.” Hellickson has taken two bullpen sessions and ”felt 100 percent,” so expects to be able to return soon. … 1B Matt Adams was ”still a little sore” after getting hit by a pitch on a finger Friday and did not play.

ROSTER MOVE

The Yankees returned right-hander Giovanny Gallegos to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game. Gallegos had been called up as the 26th man for the nightcap Monday.

UP NEXT

Yankees: Open a three-game set against visiting Seattle, with RHP Domingo German (1-4, 5.23 ERA) pitching Tuesday.

Nationals: Begin a three-game series at home against Baltimore on Tuesday, with Jefry Rodriguez on the mound for his second major league appearance and first start.