Twins Turn Triple Play, Edge Yankees
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mitch Garver hit two of Minnesota’s five home runs, and the Twins held on for an 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees after a tone-setting triple play in the first inning of a series opener between AL division leaders Monday night.
Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler also went deep, giving the Twins their eighth game with five or more homers this season. All but Garver’s second solo shot came off starter CC Sabathia (5-5), who lasted only four innings.
Martin Perez was hit just as hard, serving up home runs to Gio Urshela in the third, Luke Voit in the fourth and AL batting leader DJ LeMahieu in the fifth, a two-run drive that cut the deficit to 7-5.
Nine of the last 13 batters against Perez reached, with 14 total bases, and he left after failing to get an out in the fifth. LeMahieu went 3 for 4 to raise his batting average to .338, and the Yankees hit multiple homers for the 20th time in 29 games.
The deciding factor, then, was those sharp grounders, starting with Edwin Encarnacion after back-to-back walks drawn by LeMahieu and Aaron Judge. The ball went straight to third baseman Luis Arraez, who stepped on the bag and whipped the ball to second baseman Jonathan Schoop in the same motion to barely get Judge. Then the relay to first baseman Miguel Sano beat Encarnacion by a step.
Gary Sanchez grounded into an inning-ending double play in the third. Judge did the same in the sixth against rookie Lewis Thorpe (1-1), who got his first major league win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Taylor Rogers earned his 15th save despite allowing singles to Judge and Encarnacion.
After the Twins lost four of their first six games on this homestand, with the bullpen blowing late leads multiple times, their longtime nemesis arrived at an inopportune time. No opponent drives fan angst like the Yanks, who always have thousands of their own cheerers in attendance. The Twins improved to just 37-98 against the Yankees since 2002, including a 2-13 record in the postseason.
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Cruz reached the 20-homer mark for the 11th straight season. … The only other team to hit at least five home runs in eight different games in the same season was the 1977 Boston Red Sox.
THREE’S A CROWD FAVORITE
The triple play by the Twins was their first in more than two years, since Sano went around the horn to Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer against the Los Angeles Angels on June 1, 2017. Since becoming the only team in history to turn three twice in the same game, in 1990 against the Red Sox, the Twins have logged only three triple plays. This one notably came against Encarnacion, whose 16 homers at Target Field are the second-most by a visiting player. He has 91 RBIs in 92 career games against the Twins.
The Yankees had also gone two years without hitting into a triple play. Todd Frazier was the last guilty party, on July 25, 2017, against the Cincinnati Reds.
RED SOX 9, RAYS 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — J.D. Martinez homered and drove in four runs, including an RBI double in the ninth inning following Tampa Bay’s curious decision to put a position player on the mound, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Rays.
Eduardo Rodriguez (12-4) allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings to win his sixth straight decision. He limited the sputtering Rays to a pair of infield singles and four walks before being replaced by Nathan Eovaldi, who returned from a three-month stint on the injured list to pitch for the first time since April 17.
Eovaldi, who had surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow, labored through two-thirds of an inning, losing the shutout on Travis d’Arnaud’s RBI double. Austin Meadows also doubled home a run, and Yandy Diaz added an RBI single off the right-hander.
Despite cutting the lead to five, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash sent out rookie infielder Mike Brosseau to pitch the ninth. Brosseau, who started the game at second base, allowed doubles to Xander Bogaerts and Martinez. He was the fifth player to pitch for the Rays in the game.
Major League Baseball and the players union agreed in March on a rule change for 2020 prohibiting position players from pitching through the ninth inning unless the player’s team is winning or losing by six or more runs.
Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Sam Travis homered in the third inning, when the Red Sox scored seven runs against former Boston prospect Jalen Beeks (5-1), who lost for the first time since being sent to the Rays in a trade for Eovaldi last summer. Martinez’s three-run blast was the biggest blow.
Rafael Devers also had a two-run double in the third, giving him 27 RBIs this month. Bogaerts’ single in the fourth off Chaz Roe drove in an eighth run charged to Beeks, a 26-year-old left-hander making his second career start.
The Red Sox, who are 6-5 since the All-Star break, pulled within one game of the Rays for third place in the AL wild card standings.
Tampa Bay has dropped six of seven and been outscored 41-17 over that stretch.
HOUSTON (AP) — Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and Aledmys Diaz, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel homered as the Houston Astros jumped on Homer Bailey for nine runs early and sailed to a win over the Oakland Athletics.
Cole (11-5) yielded two hits and one run while striking out 11 to help Houston to its sixth straight win, improving to 8-1 against the Athletics this season. Cole has recorded double-digit strikeouts in three straight games, giving him an MLB-leading 205 this season.
Cole has won seven straight decisions, with his last loss coming on May 22.
REDS 6, BREWERS 5
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eugenio Suarez hit a pair of home runs, including a two-run, go-ahead shot in the ninth inning off Jeremy Jeffress as the Reds rallied for a victory over the Brewers.
Suarez had given Cincinnati a 4-1 lead when he took Adrian Houser deep with two out in the seventh.
The Brewers took the lead right back an inning later when Tyler Saladino connected on a first-pitch fastball from Rasiel Iglesias for his second grand slam in as many days, snapping an 0-for-8 drought with runners in scoring position for Milwaukee.
With Josh Hader unavailable after working in each of Milwaukee’s last two contests, Jeffress (3-3) got the call for the ninth. He struck out pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich to open the inning before giving up a single to Nick Senzel, putting the tying run aboard.
Senzel moved to second on Joey Votto’s groundout to bring up Suarez, who sent Jeffress’ second offering, a fastball right down the middle, to left for his ninth home run of the month and 27th of the season.
Wandy Peralta (1-1) pitched a perfect inning to get the victory while Jared Hughes got the final out to earn his first save.
WHITE SOX 9
CHICAGO (AP) — Ivan Nova stumped Miami again and improved to 5-0 against the Marlins.
Nova pitched a four-hitter that led the Chicago White Sox over Miami.
Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer and Yoan Moncada added a three-run shot, and James McCann and Ryan Goins later connected for back-to-back drives.
“Nothing that he does surprises me,” Abreu said of Moncada. “Because I know all the time that he’s looking to do more. He had been working hard. He’s a great baseball player with a lot of talent and I still think that he can do more.”
Chicago opened a 10-game homestand by winning for the third time in its last 11 tries. The Marlins fell to 0-4 on their current six-game road trip.
The White Sox became the first team in the majors to have protective netting in place from foul pole to foul pole, extending the safety measure for their first game at Guaranteed Rate Field since the All-Star break.
The new netting reaches a maximum height of 45 feet and, for ground rules, will be treated like a wall — any ball that bounces or is thrown off the nets will remain in play. The extra netting didn’t come into play in its debut.
“I think it’s awesome,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “I know they’ve been considering it and talking about it, a lot of people have been talking about it throughout the league, obviously through injuries and things that have occurred. For (the organization) to be on the forefront of it speaks a lot to their desire to want to give both the fans safety and still see the ballgame very clearly.”
Nova (5-9) improved to 5-0 lifetime with a 0.99 ERA against the Marlins, striking out five with no walks. This was his fourth career shutout — his previous one came with Pittsburgh on April 29, 2017, against the Marlins.
“We’ve had trouble with him, to be quite honest with you,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “And that’s when we had a stack of hitters in here that did not handle him well. We have consistently not been able to do anything with him.”
Jorge Alfaro homered in the second inning for the lone Miami run.
Trevor Richards (3-12) allowed seven runs over five innings in his seventh consecutive loss. He walked one and struck out seven.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead in the first. Jon Jay singled for the first of his two hits, Abreu followed with an RBI double and scored on Moncada’s single.
After Jay doubled in the third, Abreu hit his team-high 22nd home run of the season.
Moncada extended Chicago’s lead to 7-1 in the fifth with his 18th homer.
McCann and Goins greeted reliever Jose Quijada with home runs.
Marlins: 2B Miguel Rojas (strained right shoulder) is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday. … 3B-OF Jon Berti (strained left oblique) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday. . LHP Pablo Lopez (strained right shoulder) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Wednesday. . RHP Drew Steckenrider (strained right flexor) is scheduled for a 20-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. . RHP Jose Urena (herniated disc) has begun a long-toss program.
White Sox: SS Tim Anderson (high ankle sprain) ran the bases on Monday and could be ready for a rehab assignment in the next couple of days. … OF Eloy Jimenez (right ulnar nerve contusion) began throwing, but doesn’t have a timetable for his return.
LHP Caleb Smith (5-4, 3.47 ERA) starts for the Marlins against RHP Dylan Covey (1-5, 5.83). Covey has pitched twice in relief after getting hit hard in his last start by Oakland.