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Baltimore Orioles left fielder Lew Ford

Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press - Ap

Ex-Twins Ford, Hardy hammer current Twins

  • March 17, 2013 - 7:16 PM

– The Orioles celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green hats. The Twins celebrated Turn Back the Clock Day by getting beat by J.J. Hardy and Lew Ford.

Hardy hit a long home run off Minnesota starter Vance Worley, and Ford drove in three runs, leading Baltimore to a 7-1 victory in Ed Smith Stadium.

Worley allowed three runs in four innings, but his problem in the two-run second was that Baltimore didn’t hit the ball hard enough. With the bases loaded, Chris Dickerson dribbled a slow grounder that just got past Worley for a run-scoring single. Then Ford followed with a ground ball directly at shortstop Pedro Florimon, but the ball reached him too late to turn an inning-ending double play.

“I was battling, I was making the pitches I needed, and the results weren’t there,” the righthander said. “I got [Dickerson] to hit it and keep it in the infield, but it was just out of reach. That’s the nature of the game, I guess. The ball was rolling for them.”

Hardy’s blast didn’t need to roll, carrying completely over the picnic area beyond the left-field fence. Matt Weiters also homered for the Orioles, a two-run opposite-field shot off Casey Fien.

Worley was just happy to survive the game intact, after a miscommunication with Florimon on a popup. The ball wasn’t hit especially high, and it came down directly on the pitcher’s mound. Worley called for it, then nearly collided with Florimon when the infielder came charging up at the last second.

“I called for it and, as the ball was maybe five feet above me, I started hearing, ‘I got it,’ ” said Worley, who made the catch but was clearly rattled by the near-miss. “I didn’t want to get run over, because it was close.”

“It’s a real tough play for an infielder — all you’re doing is watching the ball, knowing you’re the only one who will get there,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Worley called it, he called it twice, but Florimon didn’t hear it. … [Worley]’s lucky he didn’t get killed.”

The Twins managed only six hits off Orioles starter Steve Johnson and three relievers, and avoided the shutout only when Brandon Boggs lifted Jair Jurrjens’ pitch over the right-field wall in the ninth inning, the reserve outfielder’s third home run of the spring.

PHIL MILLER

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