Diamondbacks bash four home runs in win over Twins
The loss caps a 3-3 road trip for the Twins
PHOENIX — Sunday’s game couldn’t have started much better for the Twins. Luis Arraez doubled and Byron Buxton singled, setting the stage for what could have become a big inning. Little did the Twins know, that flicker of opportunity would be the best part of Sunday’s game.
The Twins walked away from that chance with only one run — and wouldn’t score another in a 7-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field.
That one run came across to score on a Carlos Correa double play, which put a damper on the inning. The Twins (38-30) managed just three hits the rest of the way off Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly, who threw seven innings and induced mostly weak contact, and a trio of relievers.
“We probably got a little big trying to do a lot with some of our swings, and he knows how to pitch,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He knows how to take advantage of that. … He executed well, and we didn’t adjust today as much as we could’ve.”
The Diamondbacks (32-36), meanwhile, hit four home runs on their way to a series victory.
Starter Chris Archer, who talked Saturday about his excitement to pitch in front of his dad, whom he flew across the country to watch him on Father’s Day, had a chance to win in his start.
His only two blemishes came on solo home runs to Christian Walker, who now has a team-leading 18. Walker’s second-inning blast tied the game, and his fourth-inning home run gave the Diamondbacks the lead.
The first home run, Archer said, was the only pitch he wished he could have had back — a misexecuted slider that he left over the plate. The pitch Walker hit for the second home run, Archer said, he executed as he intended.
“He beat me to the spot,” Archer said. “Tip your hat.”
Though the Twins have been talking about how the new rule capping the number of pitchers on the active roster at 13 will mean longer outings from their starters, a well-rested bullpen combined with an off day on Monday led to them dipping into the bullpen in the fifth.
Upon Archer’s exit, Griffin Jax entered and promptly gave up a home run to Pavin Smith, the first batter he faced. But it wasn’t until the sixth inning when the Diamondbacks truly broke away.
Lefty Caleb Thielbar allowed a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases before falling behind 3-0 to rookie Buddy Kennedy. Kennedy then crushed his first career home run, a grand slam, earning an ovation from the Chase Field crowd.
“I think he just had a tough day as far as finding his release point as much as anything,”Baldelli said of Thielbar. “ … It obviously wasn’t his day. We need to just find a way to move past it and prepare for that next outing.”
The loss caps a 3-3 road trip for the Twins, who took two of three in Seattle before heading to Arizona. It also sends them into an off day with the Guardians hot on their heels. Cleveland, which is 8-2 in its last 10 games, will come to town to kick off a three-game series on Tuesday just one game behind the Twins in the standings.
“(It’s) obviously a tough way to end the road trip,” Baldelli said. “We played some good baseball on this road trip. Probably played one of our tougher games overall days today at the end. That doesn’t feel good, but we’ll be fine. We’ll regroup and be ready to go on Tuesday.”
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