Kubel's slam gives Twins series win
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins had to sweat out a four-game series at Camden Yards -- only in the literal sense.
Despite battling soaring temperatures, awful humidity and an untimely thundershower, the Twins left Baltimore in upbeat fashion after cruising to a 10-4 victory Sunday.
Jason Kubel hit his seventh career grand slam, Kevin Slowey took a five-hitter into the seventh inning and the Twins ended a run of four consecutive road series defeats by taking three of four from the Orioles.
Temperature at game time was 96 degrees. It was 99 on Saturday night, and the fallout from playing in such heat prevented Minnesota's Joe Mauer, Denard Span and J.J. Hardy from playing Sunday.
"Span's sick, Joe-Joe is a little roasted from last night," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said beforehand. "Hardy said that's the most he's ever sweated during a game. We're worried he got dehydrated, so we'll give him a break, too."
Even without those three missing starters, Minnesota banged out 19 hits -- including three apiece from Kubel, Danny Valencia, Nick Punto and Alexi Casilla.
"We got home runs, some big hits and had a good day offensively with a couple of guys down," Gardenhire said. "Made it a lot of fun."
Kubel's drive off rookie Jake Arrieta (3-3) in the third sparked a surge of 10 straight Minnesota runs. It was his second slam of the season; the other came off New York closer Mariano Rivera in May.
Delmon Young and Jim Thome hit successive solo homers off Mark Hendrickson in the sixth inning for the Twins. Young's homer was his 13th, the second in two games, and Thome's 12th of the season upped his career total to 576.
Thome moved out of a deadlock with Mike Schmidt on the career RBI list and into a tie with George Brett (1,596) for 32nd place.
"It's kind of humbling when you talk about those names and what they've done for the game," Thome said. "To be a part of that is pretty cool."
Jason Repko also connected for the Twins, who won the season series 5-3. The Twins were 3-9 on the road since winning two of three in Philadelphia from June 18-20.
Slowey (9-5) gave up a run in the first inning, then held Baltimore scoreless on four hits until a rain delay occurred with Matt Wieters leading off the bottom of the seventh. Slowey did not return after the 65-minute stoppage.
"The rain delay wasn't much fun, but we got through it," Gardenhire said.
The shower did, however, cool things down.
"It was definitely hot out. That's the first time I've thrown in that heat since maybe the Florida State League," Slowey said. "There were guys coming in and changing jerseys, changing undershirts, doing everything they could to get a breather in between innings."
Cesar Izturis drove in two runs for the Orioles, who went 2-8 on their first homestand after the All-Star break. Baltimore trailed 10-1 before scoring three in the ninth.
Arrieta allowed five runs, seven hits and four walks in four innings.
"Honestly, it's pretty embarrassing to go out there and not be able to give your team a quality start," the right-hander said.
"I prepare myself too well to allow these kind of things to happen."
Although Baltimore struggled during the homestand to get a clutch hit, interim manager Juan Samuel cited the starting pitching as the team's most glaring fault.
"We just need to get better games from the youngsters. They've got to take us deep," he said. "We've been talking about this for the last week or so. The bullpen continues to be overused because we're not giving ourselves a chance."
Arrieta gave up a hit and a walk in each of the first two innings but managed to keep the Twins scoreless. He was one out away from working out of a bases-loaded situation in the third before Kubel unloaded on a 1-0 pitch.
"I got two big outs with a guy on first and third and then just couldn't seal the deal, couldn't get Kubel out, couldn't execute a pitch properly," Arrieta lamented. "And he made me pay for it."
NOTES: Repko's ninth-inning homer was his first since April 26, 2006, with the Dodgers. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones was given the day off, only the second game he's missed this season. ... Wieters was activated from the disabled list before the game. ... Afterward, the Twins put 2B Orlando Hudson (strained rib cage muscle) on the DL and recalled C Jose Morales from Triple-A Rochester.