• Summary: Ramon Ortiz limited the Baltimore Orioles to only five hits in seven innings as the Minnesota Twins cruised 7-2 to sweep their season-opening series.
• Turning point: The Twins scored five runs against Jaret Wright in the third on an RBI single by Michael Cuddyer and a two-run hit by Rondell White. Wright hurt himself by issuing three walks before Cuddyer's hit.
• Figure this: Minnesota's victory gave the Twins their first home sweep to open the season since winning three in a row against the Detroit Tigers in 1997.
• Quotable: "I feel great. I feel very good. When you have a great pitching coach like [Rick Anderson], he worked me hard in spring training, Look at me now." -- The journeyman Ortiz
• Elias Says: With five hits in 11 at-bats, Joe Mauer's .455 batting average is the third-highest by a defending American League batting champion through his first three games a season in the last 27 years (since 1980).
-- ESPN.com news services
Twins 7, Orioles 2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Ramon Ortiz allowed two runs in seven innings in his Twins debut, helping Minnesota complete a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 7-2 victory on Wednesday night.Michael Cuddyer had three singles and two RBIs before leaving with a cut on his chin in the fifth inning for the Twins, who smacked around Jaret Wright in his first start for the Orioles.Wright lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs -- four earned -- on four hits and walking five.The Twins got to Wright early, and the Orioles right-hander was done in the third.Cuddyer singled home Nick Punto for a 1-0 lead in the first, but Wright struck out MVP Justin Morneau and then got Torii Hunter to ground out to second keep the damage to a minimum.His luck ran out in the third. Wright walked three batters in the inning and gave up another RBI-single to Cuddyer. Rondell White's single up the middle scored two more, and it was all over for Wright.The Orioles acquired Wright in the offseason after he had a solid season with the Yankees, hoping he might be able to solidify the rotation behind ace Erik Bedard and youngster Daniel Cabrera. But he was 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA in spring training and didn't do anything to ease manager Sam Perlozzo's mind on Wednesday night.Once Wright left, the Orioles kept bumbling. Jeremy Guthrie took over, issuing a walk to load the bases with two outs.Luis Castillo then lifted a high fly into foul territory in left, but Jay Gibbons dropped it for an error to keep the inning alive. Castillo followed with a high chopper to shortstop that Miguel Tejada tried to backhand, but the ball got by him in what could have been charged another error but wasn't, allowing two more runs to score.With a 6-0 lead, Ortiz cruised. The free-agent acquisition entered the night 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in five career starts at the Metrodome, but looked right at home in a Twins uniform.He needed just 61 pitches to get through the first five innings and helped himself in the second when he fielded a hot shot off the bat of Gibbons and turned a 1-6-3 double play.Like Wright, Ortiz is a veteran with an up-and-down past who was brought in to stabilize a starting rotation with plenty of holes. He played an integral part in Anaheim's title run in 2002, going 15-9 on the season and winning Game 3 of the World Series.The wiry Dominican dubbed "Pedro Lite" won 16 games the following season, but went just 25-34 over the next three seasons with the Angels, Reds and Nationals. He allowed five hits to the Orioles.The Twins signed Ortiz to a one-year, $3.1 million deal hoping pitching coach Rick Anderson could get him back on track.Ortiz gave up a triple to Brian Roberts and a double to Melvin Mora in Baltimore's two-run sixth, the only blemish on an otherwise impressive outing.
Cuddyer fouled a ball off the plate in the fourth inning that opened a cut on his chin requiring stitches. ... Twins closer Joe Nathan was late arriving to the game after his wife, Lisa, gave birth to the couple's second child. Daughter Riley Grace weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. ... Orioles C Paul Bako had a tough series. He was cut on the chin in the opener after a collision with Morneau at home plate, then was beaned on the elbow by Ortiz in the seventh Wednesday night.