Slowey can't escape fifth; Cuddyer's wrist hit by pitch

In 4 2/3 innings, Slowey gave up five runs and seven hits, walking one and striking out three; X-rays taken of Cuddyer's wrist at Target Field were negative.

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Michael Cuddyer had his wrist looked at by trainer Tony Leo after being hit by a pitch in the first inning and forced to leave the game.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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Twins righthander Kevin Slowey had thrown 50 pitches through four innings Wednesday. He then needed 39 in the fifth -- and never got out of the inning.

Slowey was rocked for five runs in the inning as Baltimore went on to a 6-1 victory over the Twins at Target Field. The Twins' August swoon continues, as they have gone 5-18 over their past 23 games.

Slowey was effective early but the Orioles hit for the cycle while scoring five runs. Matt Wieters hit a two-out, two-run double that made the score 5-1 and sent Slowey to the showers.

It was his second start after being called up from Class AAA Rochester.

"It's very frustrating,'' Slowey, 0-2, said. "I'm as frustrated as anyone in here. I haven't thrown well at all."

In 4 2/3 innings, Slowey gave up five runs and seven hits, walking one and striking out three.

Baltimore righthander Jeremy Guthrie held the Twins to one run over seven innings as he improved to 6-16. The Twins' run came in the third on back-to-back doubles by Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel.

The Twins have been held to one or no runs 11 times this month, and three times in this series alone.

Cuddyer injures wrist

It sounded terrible.

Guthrie nailed Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer in the left wrist with a pitch in the first inning, and the sound could be heard all the way up in the press box.

"I thought it was broken or shattered or something,'' Cuddyer said. "The way it felt, the way it sounded, it was ugly."

But X-rays taken at Target Field were negative. Cuddyer will have a MRI exam Thursday.

"Hopefully, it was not broken," Cuddyer said, "and, hopefully, I will be back out there soon.''

Cuddyer missed nine games because of a sore neck earlier this month before returning Monday for the start of the series against Baltimore.

It's the latest development on a team that has been inundated by injuries.

Nishioka update

Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka missed his fourth consecutive start because of a sore back, but the Twins hope he can return to the lineup soon and salvage something out of a rough first year in the major leagues.

"I told Nishi, 'Let me know when you can get out there and do everything and not feel any pain.'" manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's getting closer.''

Nishioka's injury has opened the door for Trevor Plouffe to get playing time at short. He's played second, short, left and right field for the Twins this season. Gardenhire said Plouffe has been working harder on his throwing mechanics in an effort to cut down on errors.

Plouffe on Wednesday showed why the Twins are trying to find the right position for him. He belted a triple to center in the first inning.

Etc.

• Several Twins went through extra fielding drills before batting practice, as bench coach Scott Ullger stood in the batting cage and hit pitches thrown by Gardenhire.

• Twins reliever Jeff Manship, hampered by injuries at Class AAA Rochester this season, stopped through the clubhouse before the game. He's in town having his elbow checked out.

• Joe Mauer was not in the lineup on Wednesday because of general soreness.

• Orioles outfielder Adam Jones left Tuesday's game after one inning because of shortness of breath and spent three hours at Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment. But he was back in the starting lineup Wednesday.

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