Not much has gone according to plan for the Baltimore Orioles in the early weeks of the season, but one thing hasn't changed. Right-hander Mike Mussina remains one of the top pitchers in baseball.
That never was more apparent than Wednesday, when Mussina held the Minnesota Twins to two hits in a 3-0 victory at Minneapolis.
The Twins didn't need to be reminded. They witnessed a similar performance last week, when Mussina held them to five hits during an 11-0 victory at Baltimore. Mussina has defeated Minnesota five consecutive times, and he has looked better each time.
He became the first Oriole to throw back-to-back shutouts since Hall of Famer Jim Palmer beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 1-0, on Aug. 29, 1982, and came back to beat the Twins, 3-0, five days later.
"After a while, you run out of words to describe the kid," Oriole Manager Johnny Oates said of Mussina, who is 4-1 with a 2.55 earned-run average.
Boston 3, Oakland 1--Ivan Calderon, slumping much of the season but playing because of Andre Dawson's injury, drove in two runs with a single and a triple at Boston.
The hits gave Calderon four in five at-bats after he managed only three hits in his previous 24.
Calderon's single off Ed Nunez (0-1) followed a leadoff double by Mo Vaughn, giving Boston a 2-1 lead in the sixth. Back-to-back triples by Vaughn and Calderon made it 3-1 in the eighth.
Texas 7, Toronto 1--First baseman John Olerud of the Blue Jays made back-to-back fielding errors in the sixth inning, leading to four unearned runs at Arlington, Tex.
With the bases loaded and the score tied, 1-1, David Hulse hit a grounder that skipped through Olerud's legs to score two runs. Three pitches later, Julio Franco hit a grounder to Olerud's right, with the ball glancing off his glove. Manuel Lee, who walked with two outs, and Hulse both scored on the second error.
Texas starter Kenny Rogers (3-1) gave up five hits and one run in eight innings.
Kansas City 4, Detroit 3--Harvey Pulliam hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, giving the Royals the victory at Detroit.
The loss was the first in six starts for Detroit's David Wells (4-1), who gave up only five hits.
With the Tigers leading, 3-2, Brian McRae hit a two-out single, went to third when Wells threw wild on a pickoff attempt at first, then scored on Pulliam's first home run since Aug. 27, 1991.
Ventura homered off Jesse Orosco (0-2) to break a 1-1 tie. Chicago got another run on Sax's double and a run-scoring single by Craig Grebeck.
Scott Radinsky (1-0) retired two batters in the eighth for the win, and Roberto Hernandez struck out the side in the ninth for his fourth save.
Cleveland 3, Seattle 2--Mike Bielecki got the better of an improbable pitching duel with rookie John Cummings at Cleveland, helping the Indians to their fifth consecutive victory.
Bielecki (3-2) entered the game with a 6.41 ERA, but he held the Mariners scoreless until Rich Amaral chased him with a two-out homer in the seventh. Bielecki gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, matching his longest outing of the year.
Cummings (0-5), still seeking his first major league victory, brought a 5.46 ERA to the game but gave up only two runs and five hits in five-plus innings.