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BAL@MIN: Span clears the bases with a double to right

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins starting pitchers spent the previous two games taking their bruises early and often from opposing hitters. On Monday, it was Minnesota's offense dealing a quick knockout blow.

The Twins scored seven runs in the first inning on five hits and a costly error, causing Baltimore starter Chris Tillman to exit before recording three outs.

Scott Diamond wasn't as sharp as the Twins have come to expect, but a season-high run total provided plenty of support as Minnesota took a 19-7 win over the Orioles at Target Field.

The victory snapped a five-game losing streak and a seven-game skid against Baltimore. The 19 runs were the most scored by the Twins at Target Field since it opened in 2010.

Minnesota had experienced its own early-inning woes only a day earlier. Brian Duensing needed 67 pitches on Sunday to get through only two frames, in which he allowed six runs in an eventual 9-4 loss to Oakland.

"We've been taking a few beatings lately," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's nice to be on this side of one where we actually banged the ball around, ran around the bases really good."

On Monday, the Twins forced Tillman to throw 49 pitches as he faced 10 batters.

Before loading the bases with two outs, the Twins had only scored on Joe Mauer's RBI single. But Ryan Doumit grounded a ball sharply to first and Mark Reynolds was charged with an error when he couldn't corral it and it skipped into the outfield.

Mauer and Justin Morneau both scored on the play. The error paved the way for Brian Dozier's RBI single and Denard Span's bases-clearing double to wrap up the scoring at 7-0.

"This time, it was good to get a good lead on a good hitting team," Ben Revere said. "You saw, they still dropped seven runs. They're going to be swinging. It was good for us to get that big lead ahead and knock them down early."

After Span's hit, Baltimore called on Miguel Socolovich, who finally put a stop to the inning when he induced a groundout from Revere.

Mauer scored and drove in a run for the second straight inning when he launched his sixth home run of the year to right field in the second. Revere had a rare two-run infield single in the third and Josh Willingham scored in the fourth on a groundout. Minnesota matched its previous season-best run total of 11 in only four innings.

Minnesota scored another five runs in the eighth, led by a two-run double from Span. Revere and Jamey Carroll also tagged RBI singles and Morneau scored on Doumit's groundout after leading the inning off with an infield single.

Diamond teetered on the edge of allowing a big first inning as Nick Markakis led off with a single and J.J. Hardy walked. Revere backed Diamond with a spectacular diving catch on a full sprint to rob Adam Jones of an extra-base hit, and Diamond emerged from the inning unscathed as he got Matt Wieters to ground into a double play.

Diamond said he initially didn't think Revere would be able to make the play.

"I think I was praying [that he would] more so," Diamond said. "He got a real good jump on it, he was able to cover a lot of ground real quickly. He definitely helped me get out of that. Our defense was stellar tonight."

The left-hander threw six innings, allowing a season-high five runs on nine hits, which also tied a season-high. It was his first start since July 5.

"You could tell he was a little rusty," Gardenhire said. "He's had quite a few days off here. Get him back on his regular rest here and see if he can go a little bit better than that. He did overthrow the ball a little bit and misfired a little bit more than we've seen him. But that's probably because of all the days off and the time that we think he needed."

Reynolds drove in four of Baltimore's runs, including a three-run homer off Diamond in the fifth.

Morneau and Trevor Plouffe both extended their hit streaks to 14 games. Morneau finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and three runs, and is two games shy of tying his career-best hit streak.

"It's been a while since I've had one of those," Morneau said of his four-hit night. "Hopefully it's just the start of the second half starting to turn around for everybody. I've been putting in the work and it's nice to see those results. Obviously those nights are few and far between but that's what you hope for as a hitter, is a good day like that."

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