Mauer shows some power; Correia earns first victory of 2014

Joe Mauer’s three-run homer helped Kevin Correia earn his first victory and end the Twins’ four-game skid.

The Twins’ most accomplished starting pitcher in 2013 hadn’t accomplished much during the opening weeks of this season. Kevin Correia has been one of the reasons behind what was expected to be a team strength becoming a team concern.

Correia’s 0-for-April ended with his worst outing of the young season, when he gave up seven runs to Detroit. That must have been the kick in the pants he needed, as Correia is now in the win column. He shut down Baltimore for seven innings while Joe Mauer helped the Twins offense break out of a mini-slump with a three-run homer in a 6-1 victory at Target Field on Saturday.

The Twins ended their four-game losing streak behind Correia’s first victory since Sept. 1, 2013, a span of nine starts.

Now the rest of the rotation can attempt to build off what has transpired the first two games of this series. Though the Twins lost 3-0 Friday night, Ricky Nolasco pitched a complete game to save a bullpen depleted by Thursday’s doubleheader with the Dodgers. Correia followed with seven strong innings, holding the Orioles to one run on five hits and no walks and three strikeouts.

Correia actually spoke with Nolasco twice before Saturday’s game. One meeting took place in the video room. Another took place in the hot tub (don’t judge, that’s how some players get their muscles loose).

“I was able to talk to him and was able to get a good game plan on what I needed to do to pitch deep into the game,” Correia said.

The only Orioles run came in the second inning, after a curveball that struck out Adam Jones bounced to the backstop. Jones reached first safely, stole second and scored on J.J. Hardy’s single. But Correia (1-3) shined from there, retiring the final eight batters he faced after Nick Markakis’ one-out double in the fifth inning.

Correia lowered his ERA to 6.09 with the outing. Think that’s a little high? He entered with it at 7.33. But he threw 17 first-pitch strikes to the first 24 batters he faced to set the tone. He got his usual share of ground-ball outs, but when the Orioles did elevate a pitch, it was hit to center fielder Sam Fuld, who recorded eight putouts. Casey Fien pitched the eighth and Jared Burton the ninth to wrap up the victory.

“After Kevin’s last outing it was a good bounce-back for him,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Twins backed him with a first-inning RBI double by Trevor Plouffe and a third-inning homer by Brian Dozier off Orioles lefthander Wei-Yin Chen (3-2), Dozier’s eighth homer of the season. But through four innings, they were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, after going 0-for-11 Friday and 2-for-13 in Game 2 Thursday.

Mauer broke through by foiling the Orioles’ shift with a fifth-inning RBI single to score Dozier from second. Two innings later, he came up with runners at the corners and blasted a homer to left off righthander Brad Brach. Mauer is batting .375 over his past 10 games.

“We got on base. Joe hit a huge three-run homer,” Dozier said. “All of that aside — everyone from one through nine swung the bat really good today — a heck of a pitching performance by Kevin. We really needed that.”

Perhaps more meetings should take place in the hot tub.

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Tennessee 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60


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