Wednesday's game was so strange, Ron Gardenhire invented a new word for it.
"We ambushed them," the Twins' manager said, "and they re-ambushed us back."
Re-ambushed is a good word for it, considering the Twins looked a little like Custer by the end. The only one who wasn't shocked by the eighth and ninth innings, apparently, was Ray Olmedo.
The Twins entered their half of the eighth trailing 3-1, having mustered very little against Orioles starter Brian Matusz and two relievers. But up stepped Class AA shortstop James Beresford, who had homered once in six professional seasons.
Make it two. Beresford, just back from playing for Team Australia in the WBC in Taiwan, smashed a Todd Redmond pitch over the right-field fence to tie the game. Joe Benson followed with a bloop double, and second baseman Ray Olmedo put the Twins in front with a long home run to right.
"Olmedo told us he should be batting fourth tonight. About three innings earlier," Gardenhire said. "Then he hits that homer. Then he goes, 'I told you so.' My bad."
But nearly as surprising was how the Orioles responded, by scoring six runs in the ninth, five of them off reliever Josh Roenicke. The righthander, claimed off waivers from Colorado last November, had been pitching reasonably well this spring, allowing a few too many baserunners -- eight hits and four walks in seven innings -- but giving up only two runs.
Roenicke is out of options, so his chances of making the team are relatively good, but he couldn't put the ball where he wanted to this time. He allowed three hits, walked two, and ballooned his ERA to 8.22 before being removed after retiring only two hitters.
"I don't know [what happened]. Walking the leadoff guy is never good," Gardenhire said. "It looked like he was misfiring -- he was flying wide open with his left side, his chest was facing home every time he released the ball, so he wasn't staying back. ... Just was out of whack, it looked like."