The news kept pouring in Friday at Target Field.
Twins closer Brandon Kintzler made the All-Star team. Joe Mauer landed on the 10-day disabled list because of a back injury.
When the Twins announced they had signed 44-year-old Bartolo Colon, it was obvious how badly they needed pitching help. Felix Jorge had returned from Class AA Chattanooga and put the Twins in a six-run hole against Baltimore by the third inning.
But the Twins stormed back with seven runs over the fourth and fifth innings, with Kennys Vargas and Chris Gimenez leading the charge, and added on late for a stirring 9-6 victory.
An announced crowd of 28,668 saw the Twins improve to 4-1 on this homestand and 5-0 vs. Baltimore this season, with two games remaining against the sputtering Orioles before the All-Star break.
Then, after the game, more news: The Twins sent Jorge back to Chattanooga and promoted hot-hitting Zack Granite from Class AAA Rochester. Granite, a center fielder and the Twins’ 2016 Minor League Player of the Year, is hitting .360 with a .412 on-base percentage, three homers and 24 RBI.
“We’re in position, roster-wise, to add a position player here,” manager Paul Molitor said. “We’re pretty well-protected with pitching going into the break.”
Jorge, 23, won his major league debut last Saturday at Kansas City, showing poise over five innings after a rare jump straight from Class AA. But this time, the Dominican lasted only 2⅔ innings, giving up six runs on seven hits.
His first five pitches were fastballs, all for strikes. Seth Smith and Manny Machado drilled two of them for homers.
Machado got Jorge again in the third inning, when he smashed a three-run homer to left-center. Four batters later, Molitor turned to his bullpen.
Trevor Hildenberger set a new tone, holding the Orioles scoreless for 2⅓ innings with no walks and three strikeouts, and the rookie sidearmer earned his first major league victory. Ryan Pressly escaped a big jam in the sixth, fanning Ruben Tejada and Smith after Baltimore put runners at second and third with one out.
Taylor Rogers breezed through the eighth on four pitches, and Kintzler pitched a scoreless ninth for his AL-best 24th save in 27 chances.
“It’s huge when all the guys are putting up zeros,” Pressly said. “It’s been fun. If we keep doing that, we’re going to have a lot of success.”
The comeback started with two infield singles off Orioles starter Kevin Gausman — by Miguel Sano and Max Kepler. Still down 6-0, Vargas lined a single to right, loading the bases. Eddie Rosario hit an RBI single to center, and Gimenez was hit by a 1-2 pitch, trimming the lead to 6-2.
Gausman limited the damage with two strikeouts to escape the inning, but the Twins came out smoking again in the fifth. Brian Dozier tripled down the right-field line, and Robbie Grossman followed with an RBI double. Sano reached on an error, and Kepler hit an RBI single, setting the stage for Vargas’ tying, two-run double off the left-center field wall.
“All the fans went crazy,” Vargas, back after three days at Rochester, said through an interpreter. “I love that.”
Two batters later, Gimenez ripped an RBI single to center, and the Twins had the lead for good.
Their two insurance runs in the eighth came on two-out RBI singles from Byron Buxton and Dozier. Buxton added one last electrifying highlight — scoring from first base on Dozier’s single — to cap an eventful day.