Baltimore Orioles' starting pitcher Cole Irvin reacts after Minnesota Twins'...

Baltimore Orioles' starting pitcher Cole Irvin reacts after Minnesota Twins' Kyle Farmer lines out to Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julia Nikhinson

BALTIMORE — Cedric Mullins saved a run with an exceptional diving catch in deep left-center, then homered and drove in three runs for the Baltimore Orioles in a 7-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.

As expected after this kind of performance, he was asked which contribution he appreciated more.

“The fellas say the catch was No. 1 that they've seen,” Mullins responded. “I'm going to take their word for it.”

Jordan Westburg drove in two runs during his third career three-hit day, which came two days after his second. Ryan O’Hearn and Gunnar Henderson also homered for the Orioles, who have won five of their six series openers.

Dillon Tate (2-0) got Byron Buxton to pop out with runners on the corners to end the fifth and worked a clean sixth after Baltimore starter Cole Irvin allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Yennier Cano worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings and cleaned up Keegan Akin’s seventh-inning jam, and Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save. It was the 421st save of Kimbrel's career — one short of Billy Wagner for seventh all-time — and the veteran's first time recording saves on back-to-back days for Baltimore.

Ryan Jeffers and Jose Miranda each had three hits and two RBIs for Minnesota. Miranda homered and singled in runs, while Jeffers doubled in both runners Cano inherited from Akin.

Baltimore Orioles' Ryan O'Hearn and Adley Rutschman celebrates with teammates...

Baltimore Orioles' Ryan O'Hearn and Adley Rutschman celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring on Jordan Westburg's ground ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julia Nikhinson

Louie Varland (0-3) allowed six runs — four earned — in five innings after second baseman Edouard Julien’s fielding error helped Baltimore to a two-run first.

“I wasn't really hitting my spots with two strikes,” said Varland, who yielded 11 hits and two homers. “And they made me pay for it.”

Irvin’s night would’ve been worse without Mullins’ flying grab.

“I didn't think there was a chance he was going to catch it,” Irvin said.

Baltimore Orioles' Adley Rutschman, left, and Ryan O'Hearn celebrate after...

Baltimore Orioles' Adley Rutschman, left, and Ryan O'Hearn celebrate after scoring on Jordan Westburg's ground ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julia Nikhinson

With one on and two outs, Kyle Farmer drove Irvin’s 2-2 sinker toward the warning track in front of the Orioles’ bullpen.

Mullins sprinted after it and leaped, intercepting the would-be RBI extra-base hit as Irvin extended his arms skyward in relieved celebration.

“That might be one of the best plays I've ever had behind me,” Irving said. “That was one of the coolest. ... Yeah, shoot. I don't know if I'll ever see a play like that while I'm pitching again.”

Said Mullins: “It was an-all out effort.”

In the fifth, Mullins turned on Varland’s 1-2 cutter and sent a high-arcing shot that hugged the fair side of the foul pole on its way over the out-of-town scoreboard.

Orioles second baseman Jackson Holliday, the No. 1 prospect in baseball who was promoted last week, went 0 for 4 a day after getting his first major league hit. The 20-year-old Holliday is 1 for 19 in five games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Farmer started at short after Willi Castro played three games there following Carlos Correa (right intercostal strain) going on 10-day injured list. “They’re both going to play shortstop for us,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I don’t think it’s difficult for me to acknowledge that sometimes those decisions are not clear-cut.”

Orioles: RHP Kyle Bradish (right UCL sprain) will make his first rehab outing on Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. Manager Brandon Hyde said Bradish ideally would throw two to three innings and 40-50 pitches.

UP NEXT

Orioles RHP Grayson Rodriguez (2-0, 2.50) has completed 5 2/3 innings and allowed two or fewer runs in all three starts. Twins RHP Chris Paddack (0-0, 4.15) failed to complete five in his two outings.

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