05/07/09 1:37 AM ET
Twins fall to O's in rain-shortened game
Gardenhire not happy with chain of events on Wednesday
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
There were four rain delays that totaled nearly four hours, pushing back the start and repeatedly disrupting a contest that only made it into the top of the sixth inning. By the time the umpires finally called it at 11:19 p.m. CT, giving the Orioles a rain-shortened 4-1 victory over the Twins, it had turned into a very long night for both teams.
The game was scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m., but rain delayed that for 42 minutes. Rain caused another 40-minute delay in the second plus a stoppage of one hour and 27 minutes in the fourth.
The Twins were batting with one on and two outs in sixth when the skies opened up once more, with the game being delayed for 57 more minutes before umpires finally stopped it. Total time of delays -- three hours, 47 minutes.
The delays left Twins manager Ron Gardenhire with a sour taste in his mouth.
"The game should have never started in the first place," Gardenhire said. "We never had a window all night long. All you have to do is look at the radar, and you see it's supposed to rain all night long. Once we stopped the first time, we should never have gone right back out there. There was never more than a 15-minute window to do anything. It stopped raining, starting raining hard again."
What upset Gardenhire the most was that the game didn't get to the full nine innings. Instead, it wound up going just 5 2/3 innings and didn't give his Twins a full chance to win.
"Somebody made a mistake here and screwed up, and I don't know who is supposed to be accountable for this," Gardenhire said. "But my team ends up paying the final price here because we lose a baseball game. That's the way I see what happened tonight."
The Twins also had problems on the field rather quickly.
Starter Kevin Slowey got into trouble in the bottom of the first. Adam Jones doubled to left with one out, and Nick Markakis followed with a two-run homer off the bottom of the right-field foul pole for a 2-0 lead.
"I was hoping it was going foul," Slowey said. "I knew he got a decent bit of it, but I thought it was far enough inside for him to have to pull it foul."
Luke Scott added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 3-0. Slowey didn't have much trouble against the Orioles (11-17) over the next two innings, but the long delay in the fourth ended his night. He said he battled to get back out there after the first in-game delay, but the 87-minute stoppage was probably too much to come back from.
"I wish we had gotten off to a better start in the first," Slowey (4-1) said. "If I had made a couple other pitches, I think it might have helped out."
Craig Breslow took over after the long delay, and Scott greeted him with a homer to right-center on the first pitch for a 4-0 lead.
The Twins (13-15) couldn't do anything against Orioles starter Mark Hendrickson, who breezed through three innings, allowing just one hit before also coming out after the long delay. Brian Bass (1-1) came in and struck out the side in the fourth before the Twins got their best threat of the night in the fifth.
Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez and Mike Redmond all singled to start the inning. Nick Punto then forced Redmond at second, scoring Young to make it 4-1. But Bass then picked off Punto, who got into a rundown. While shortstop Cesar Izturis was running Punto back to first, Gomez broke for home from third.
Izturis twisted and threw across his body to the plate from near first base, getting Gomez for the second out. Denard Span then bounced back to Bass to end the threat. That made the game official. Justin Morneau got an infield single with two outs in the sixth, and the umpires stopped play moments later.
The game never started again.
"It's a tough game for both teams," Morneau said. "It's a grind. That's part of the game. There's going to be days where the weather is going to really dictate how things go that day. It's one of those games that might happen once or twice a year."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.