Series: Game 1 of 3

Baltimore leads 1-0 (as of 8/6)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 6
Minnesota 2Final
Baltimore 9
Game 2: Wednesday, August 7
Minnesota 4Final
Baltimore 6
Game 3: Thursday, August 8
Minnesota 1Final
Baltimore 4

Twins 2

(69-45, 29-25 away)

Orioles 9

(53-57, 25-26 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 6, 2002

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 000002000 2 - -
    BAL 00010260 - 9 - -

    W: S. Ponson (6-5)

    L: J. Santana (6-3)

    Lopez slam caps big seventh inning for O's

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Waiting in the on-deck circle, Luis Lopez carefully studied the way LaTroy Hawkins pitched to Melvin Mora.

    Luis Lopez

    By the time it was his turn to hit, Lopez knew exactly what to expect: fastball, right down the middle.

    Hawkins delivered, and so did Lopez.

    Lopez's second career grand slam highlighted a six-run seventh inning that carried the Baltimore Orioles past the Minnesota Twins 9-2 Tuesday night.

    After Marty Cordova gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead with a sixth-inning homer off emergency starter Johan Santana, Baltimore sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh to turn the game into a rout.

    The key hit came from Lopez, who started the night with a .162 batting average and no home runs. The first-pitch shot followed two singles and a seven-pitch walk to Mora.

    ``It was a good at-bat by Melvin. I got to see a lot of fastballs,'' Lopez said. ``In that situation, I'm looking for a pitch to drive. Everybody in the stadium knew he had to throw a good pitch, and I took advantage of it.''

    Lopez's only other grand slam was his first career homer, as a rookie with the San Diego Padres.

    Hawkins, who entered with a 1.49 ERA, allowed five runs and got only one out. A bases-loaded wild pitch by Kevin Frederick and a run-scoring grounder by Jose Leon made it 9-2.

    The Orioles had four walks in the inning and three hits.

    ``We were patient, got some runners on, and we were lucky,'' Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said.

    Sidney Ponson (6-5) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine career starts against Minnesota, his best numbers against any opponent.

    Minnesota's David Ortiz had two hits, including a two-run homer, to extend his career-high hitting streak to 19 games. He's batting .425 with seven homers during the run.

    The Twins have lost two straight for the first time since June 20-21, but their biggest concern was about starter Eric Milton, who was scratched after warmups with a lateral left knee strain.

    ``Something popped in his knee when he had a couple of pitches left,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``The doctor here said it could be some kind of tear and he might need surgery and be out 2-to-3 weeks.''

    Trainer Jim Kahmann said Milton will return to Minnesota on Wednesday for an examination. But Kahmann would not comment about a possible tear or the possibility of surgery.

    Milton, who was limping noticeably after the game, refused comment.

    ``You just hope that Milton is OK. He's the guy that's been the rock for us,'' Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.

    Santana (6-3), who worked in relief last Friday and Saturday, struck out nine and gave up only four hits. But Cordova's homer ruined an otherwise fine performance by the left-hander.

    ``I didn't expect to have an outing like this. I feel bad for Eric,'' Santana said. ``I just went out there trying to do the job he would have. It just happened. I got myself ready and went out there.''

    Cordova struck out twice before hitting a drive to center after Santana walked Gary Matthews Jr.

    Matthews walked three times and scored three runs.

    Santana allowed one hit and struck out six over the first three innings before the Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Matthews drew a one-out walk, went to second on a single by Tony Batista and scored on a two-out single by Leon.

    Ortiz gave the Twins a brief lead with his 13th homer in the sixth, following a single by Cristian Guzman.

    Game notes

    The Orioles turned their AL-leading 125th double play in the fourth inning. ... Minnesota is 15-32 at Camden Yards. ... Leon has hit safely in 11 of his 13 starts. ... The Twins are 6-11 on Tuesday, the only day of the week they're under .500. ... Baltimore has won 38 of 49 against Minnesota since July 1996.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press