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Twins overtake Angels 5-4 with rally in 8th inning

Twins overtake Angels 5-4 with rally in 8th inning

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have transitioned into development mode in this disappointing season, having traded All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz in the first move of what could be a more significant sell-off.Nick Gordon and Ryan Jeffers took full advantage of the audition on Friday night.Gordon scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a throwing error by catcher Kurt Suzuki after Jeffers hit the game-tying RBI single, as the Twins rallied past the Los Angeles Angels 5-4.“We’re getting back to the fundamentals and trying to play good baseball,” Jeffers said. “The rest of the season, we’re not sure what is going to be in store for us, but we’re going to put the best product on the field for y’all.”Jeffers got his big hit off Angels closer Raisel Iglesias (6-4), who was charged with his fourth blown save in 24 attempts after being summoned with a runner on first for what would’ve been a six-out save.Jeffers, who went 3 for 4, sent a grounder into left field. The throw home by Juan Lagares to try to get Miguel Sanó was way off the plate, and Suzuki misfired to third to try to get Gordon, who hustled in for the lead to punctuate the unraveling for the Angels. The second attempt home by Lagares was off line, too.“I was surprised on both throws, quite frankly I was. He’s such a good outfielder, and he wasn’t that deep,” manager Joe Maddon said.Angels starter Alex Cobb had a 4-0 lead after two innings and a 4-2 edge in the sixth as he warmed up, but was pulled before it started because of a blister on his right index finger.“It’s definitely not serious. It’s something that’s annoying,” Cobb said.Gordon brought the Twins within one with an RBI single in that inning against Steve Cishek. Taylor Rogers notched his ninth save with a scoreless ninth for the Twins after a scoreless eighth by Juan Minaya (1-0) and the wild rally in between.“Just try to make each day its own separate thing and enjoy that day and not try to look to the future or try to play GM and figure out what’s going to happen. It’s inevitable,” Rogers said.Jack Mayfield homered for the second straight game for the Angels and made a diving stop at third base to start a key double play in the fifth. Suzuki hit a two-run homer after an RBI single by José Iglesias in a three-run first inning against Twins starter J.A. Happ.NO-TANILeft-handers had only three extra-base hits in 67 plate appearances entering the night against Happ, and that was all the math Maddon needed to justify resting designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and first baseman Jared Walsh, his two healthy All-Stars.“They’re not breaking Cal’s record,” Maddon quipped before the game, in reference to Cal Ripken Jr.’s all-time mark for consecutive games played.Ohtani, the major league home run leader, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Thursday and is 4 for 24 with one homer and 14 strikeouts out of the All-Star break. He has appeared as a hitter in 90 of the team’s 96 games. Walsh entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.HEY, ROOKOF Brent Rooker, who’s tied for the Triple-A lead with 19 home runs, was recalled by the Twins from St. Paul to replace Nelson Cruz after the trade to Tampa Bay. Rooker took Cruz’s usual DH spot.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: CF Mike Trout (strained right calf), the three-time AL MVP who has not played since May 17, has not yet progressed to the point of clearance for a rehab assignment. “You don’t want to hurry something like this. You don’t want to push it to the point where he ends up reinjuring it and it becomes chronic,” Maddon said.Twins: OF/1B Alex Kirilloff had surgery to repair his torn right wrist ligament, starting a recovery timetable of roughly two months. He likely won’t return to major league action this year.“We do want him to have a full, healthy offseason, and that’s the goal so he can go into spring training at full speed,” Baldelli said.UP NEXTAngels: LHP Patrick Sandoval (2-4, 3.86 ERA) takes the mound Saturday night. Sandoval is winless in his last four starts, after allowing a career-high six runs in his last turn against Seattle.Twins: RHP José Berríos (7-4, 3.69 ERA) pitches in the third game of the four-game series. Berríos has a 6.14 ERA in four career starts against the Angels.———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Mayfield's 3-run homer off Maeda leads Angels past Twins 3-2

Mayfield's 3-run homer off Maeda leads Angels past Twins 3-2

MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Heaney found his groove, retiring the last 11 batters he faced.The left-hander rediscovered his belief in his own ability, too.Jack Mayfield hit a three-run homer and Heaney finished seven innings for his longest start of the season, leading the Los Angeles Angels past Minnesota 3-2 on Thursday night after the Twins traded away All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz.“He kept getting better, and that’s why I wanted to stay with him,” manager Joe Maddon said about his starter.Heaney (6-7) gave up just four hits, two walks and two runs with seven strikeouts, the left-hander’s most effective appearance in six weeks.“For my confidence, frankly I needed it to happen,” Heaney said.Heaney fell behind 2-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Willians Astudillo and a run-scoring groundout from Gilberto Celestino, but Mayfield picked him up in the following inning.”There’s times when you’re not going good that you just start doubting,” said Heaney, who lowered his ERA to 5.32, still his worst mark for any season he’s topped 30 innings. “I can almost promise you that there’s a lot of other guys that feel that way, even the best players in the game.”The Twins didn’t muster much more offense than that, with Cruz — their clubhouse leader and best hitter — now conspicuously missing from the lineup after a deal that sent the 41-year-old designated hitter to Tampa Bay.“I think the whole team had a consensus of being a little sad to hear the news. I think that’s where we were as a team today before the game,” Twins starter Kenta Maeda said through his translator.First baseman Miguel Sanó paid tribute by wearing his friend’s game pants.”They both wear pretty good-sized pants, so to the eye, I could not tell any difference. But I bet it meant a lot to Miguel to be doing that, and probably Nellie, too,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.Maeda (4-4) managed just fine against his most famous fellow countryman, with two strikeouts and no hits allowed for Japanese hitting-pitching sensation Shohei Ohtani.The problem for Maeda, who had given up only seven hits and three runs with 25 strikeouts in 16 innings over his previous three starts, was at the bottom of the order. In the fifth, José Iglesias hit his second double of the game, and Adam Eaton followed with a single.Then Mayfield, a career .170 hitter filling in at third base with Anthony Rendon on the mend, drove a 3-2 slider into the left field seats for a 3-2 lead.Raisel Iglesias picked up his 20th save with a perfect ninth inning.NO-TANIOhtani went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He won’t be on the mound in this series because the Angels want to give him an extra day of rest. His next start will come on Monday, at home against Colorado.After swinging hard in the Home Run Derby last week, Ohtani is 4 for 24 with one homer and 14 strikeouts out of the All-Star break, but Maddon said he sees no reason to worry about the major league home run leader.“He feels good. He’s upbeat. He’s constantly conversing with everybody. He’ll come out of this thing. He’s not going to be perfect all year,” Maddon said.HE’S OUTThe Twins squandered a prime scoring chance in the second, when Trevor Larnach was thrown out at home trying to score from first base on a double by Celestino. The throw from left field was well ahead of Larnach, who collided with Max Stassi as the catcher dropped the ball.Larnach was reminded by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi and teammate Andrelton Simmons that he never touched home, but his last-ditch lunge at scoring was denied with a tag by Stassi. Simmons actually tried to pick up Larnach off the dirt by the back of his jersey and pull him toward the plate.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: LF Justin Upton (right lower back strain) was reinstated from the injured list after being sidelined for almost a month. … CF Mike Trout (right calf strain) worked out on the field before the game, but he has not yet been scheduled for a rehab assignment.Twins: C Mitch Garver was placed on the paternity leave list as he and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first child, a healthy baby boy named Gamble.UP NEXTAngels: RHP Alex Cobb (7-3, 3.96 ERA) pitches on Friday night. Cobb is 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA in three starts this month.Twins: LHP J.A. Happ (5-5, 6.15 ERA) takes the mound for the second game of the series. Happ went seven innings in each of his last two turns after failing to go that long for 11 straight starts.———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Ober wins 1st, Kepler hits 2 homers, Twins top White Sox 8-5

Ober wins 1st, Kepler hits 2 homers, Twins top White Sox 8-5

MINNEAPOLIS — Rookie Bailey Ober pitched five scoreless innings for his first major league victory, Max Kepler homered twice and the Minnesota Twins held off the Chicago White Sox 8-5 on Monday night.Ober (1-1) hit the milestone in his seventh career start, with seven strikeouts and two hits and three walks allowed. In two previous turns against the White Sox, he gave up nine runs in 7 1/3 innings. This time, Ober was feted with a beer shower in the clubhouse afterward.“He made some really good hitters look bad,” said manager Rocco Baldelli, whose trust in the rookie finishing the fifth with runners at the corners was rewarded. “That’s a great sign.”Kepler hit a two-run home run in the second, and a two-run triple by Nick Gordon helped the Twins build a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning against Dylan Cease (7-4).The White Sox were more worried afterward about catcher Yasmani Grandal, whose return from a two-game absence to tightness in his left calf went sour when he hurt the muscle again on a checked swing in the sixth. Grandal hopped out of the box and writhed around in the grass before being helped off, in too much pain to finish the at-bat, and he was on crutches afterward.“He’s playing outstanding All-Star-type baseball, and it’s just really uncertain what the diagnosis is going to be. We’re trying to be patient and wait and see,” manager Tony LaRussa said.The White Sox have been without Eloy Jiménez all season and Luis Robert for two months.“It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re not sitting here feeling bad for ourselves,” Cease said.The AL Central leaders surged back with a four-run seventh, getting a two-run single by García against Caleb Thielbar and a two-run triple by Yoán Moncada off Tyler Duffey.Moncada was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a chopper to third for the first out of the inning, and then the Twins turned to their best reliever to take back control. Taylor Rogers got five outs, four by strikeout, in a superb six-batter appearance.“That is some kind of prime-time relief pitching right there,” said manager Rocco Baldelli, who met Rogers on the mound in the eighth before letting him finish by fanning Leury García.Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save. Kepler recorded his 10th career multihomer game when he took Ryan Burr deep in a two-run eighth that gave the Twins some room for Robles to work.“Maybe I was trying too hard and putting too much pressure on myself,” said Kepler, who was in a 6-for-38 slide with 16 strikeouts until he homered on Sunday.OBER AND OUTThese rivals have had a tense season on the field, if not in the standings, from rookie Yermín Mercedes angering the Twins with a home run off a 3-0 pitch from position player Willians Astudillo in May to Josh Donaldson irritating the White Sox with an insinuation that the drop in spin rate on Lucas Giolito’s pitches is tied to baseball’s crackdown on sticky substances.The White Sox brought a 14 1/2-game lead on the last-place Twins into the series, having won eight of the first nine matchups this year by a cumulative 76-37 score, but Ober was up to the task. The 6-foot-9 right-hander set the tone by striking out the side in the first inning. He fanned José Abreu twice, before the slugger took Thielbar deep in the sixth for his team-leading 15th homer.“To come out here and do what I did, and get out of jams and hold these guys to zeroes, it was big time,” Ober said.Cease beat the Twins last week with three-hit, two-walk ball over six innings, but he didn’t have it this time. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed six hits and three walks.FULLY OPENWith the Twins left behind in the division race and likely headed for seller mode this month before the trade deadline, the occasion was merely symbolic. Still, the gates at Target Field were open at 100% capacity for the first time since 2019, and a season-high crowd of 20,321 came out on a sweltering night that featured 10 free food stations around the ballpark for all ticketholders. The temperature at first pitch was 94 degrees.TRAINER’S ROOMWhite Sox: Seby Zavala will likely be fetched from Triple-A rather than Mercedes, La Russa said, for his pitch calling ability. … Moncada was back after missing three games with a bruised right hand.Twins: DH Nelson Cruz, who was named to his seventh All-Star Game, sat out for the second straight game with a stiff neck. The injury has been exacerbated by a lingering chest cold that has come with severe coughing. Cruz was seeing a doctor before the game as a precaution. … Donaldson was also sidelined for a second straight day due to a strained right hamstring.UP NEXTWhite Sox: LHP Carlos Rodón (6-3, 2.37 ERA) will take the mound on Tuesday night, his first turn since being selected for his first All-Star Game and his last before the break.Twins: RHP José Berríos (7-2, 3.52 ERA) will pitch the middle game of the series. Berríos is 12-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 18 starts facing the White Sox.———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Luis Arraez has 8 total bases, Twins top Indians 8-7

Luis Arraez has 8 total bases, Twins top Indians 8-7

MINNEAPOLIS — Luis Arraez hit two triples and a tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth inning, sparking the Minnesota Twins in a 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.Arraez went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, Alex Kirilloff hit a two-run homer and Josh Donaldson also drove in two runs for the Twins.After a career-high eight total bases, Arraez is batting .371 in 10 games since returning from a shoulder injury. When he’s healthy, his energy, patience and tenacity at the plate can go a long way toward making Minnesota’s lineup come alive.“He’s a pest, and I love watching him play,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He hasn’t even until this point probably even gotten hot, and he’s still on base all the time.”Arraez also made a sprinting, sliding catch of a foul ball down the left field line from the first batter of the game, Cesar Hernandez.“I come here to work hard,” he said.Griffin Jax (1-0) got his first career victory with 4 1/3 innings in relief, and Hansel Robles recorded his seventh save by finishing the ninth.Robles allowing a home run to Josh Naylor that was Cleveland’s fourth of the game and tenuously cut the lead to one. The next batter, Bradley Zimmer, hit the ball just as hard for a line drive down the right field line, but Max Kepler threw him out trying to stretch for a double.Amed Rosario, Bobby Bradley and Eddie Rosario also went deep for the Indians, who took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Nick Wittgren (2-2) gave up two singles in the sixth before Arraez’s double.TAKE THREEArraez recorded the 31st two-triple game in Twins history, the first since Ehire Adrianza on Aug. 30, 2017. Rosario had one as a rookie for Minnesota in 2015.The first one skipped past the right fielder Naylor, who lost his balance trying a one-hop scoop with the setting sun in his line of sight in the first inning. In the third, left fielder Harold Ramirez tried to stop the ball by sliding, but it skipped off his leg and toward the warning track.“In hindsight, probably better off just reaching down for it, but the game’s going fast sometimes,” manager Terry Francona said.Arraez became the first Twins player to accumulate eight or more total bases without a home run since Joe Mauer on Aug. 3, 2016, against Cleveland.QUANTRILL STRUGGLESWith the three main members of their rotation on the injured list — Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale — the Indians could have used more from starter Cal Quantrill. The right-hander gave up six hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings.“I don’t think anybody goes out there just to survive. It’s something we’ve trained a long time to do. We’re trying to win baseball games,” said Quantrill, who allowed a four-run third.FIRST TIMEThe Twins had to put Randy Dobnak on the injured list with a strained middle finger on his pitching hand, so Danny Coulombe was summoned across the river from Triple-A St. Paul to serve as the opener for a planned bullpen game.Coulombe went 1 2/3 innings, giving up two homers in the first, but a two-out fielding error by second baseman Jorge Polanco preceded Bradley’s two-run shot. The 31-year-old Coulombe made his first major league start after 155 relief appearances, mostly with Oakland.TRAINER’S ROOMIndians: With the three starting pitchers among the eight players currently on the injured list, RHP Brad Peacock was signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Triple-A Columbus as potential rotation depth. Peacock has a 4.01 career ERA in 554 2/3 innings, mostly with Houston.Twins: RHP Luke Farrell (right oblique) was placed on the 10-day injured list and RHP Cody Stashak (back) was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room for Coulombe.UP NEXTIndians: Rookie LHP Sam Hentges (1-1, 6.40 ERA) will pitch on Saturday afternoon, about 12 miles from where he grew up. He won a state championship at Target Field with Mounds View High School, but this will be his first major league appearance in his home state. He said he put 35 people on his guest pass list.Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.85 ERA) will take the mound for the third game of the series. He has finished the sixth inning only once in 11 starts this season, on April 7 at Detroit.———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Naquin's 3-run homer in 9th gives Reds 10-7 win over Twins

Naquin's 3-run homer in 9th gives Reds 10-7 win over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — The Cincinnati Reds didn’t look drained to manager David Bell, despite this recent slide.The boss was right, because the Reds had plenty of energy left for a late surge against Minnesota after the Twins took a game of back-and-forth rallies the night before.Tyler Naquin went 4 for 4 with a three-run homer that broke a ninth-inning tie right after the ragged Cincinnati bullpen lost a five-run lead, and the Reds beat the Twins 10-7 to stop their five-game losing streak on Tuesday afternoon.Amir Garrett got his fourth save in six chances with a scoreless ninth after fellow relievers Art Warren, Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone stumbled through a five-run eighth for Minnesota, which had its season-long five-game winning streak end.“We keep pulling for each other, keep showing up, keep playing hard,” said Naquin, who joined the Reds in February on a minor league contract.Max Kepler hit a two-run homer, Trevor Larnach added a solo shot and Alex Kirilloff had the tying two-run double off Antone (2-0), but the right-hander in his first game back from the injured list recovered to record the last two outs of the inning.Tucker Barnhart homered and had three RBIs and Jesse Winker hit a two-run double for the Reds, whose relief ERA (5.70) is the worst in the major leagues. Injuries have made an impact on that, to be sure, and Bell did not sound bothered by the way he’s seen his relievers throw the ball lately.“There’s no question we’re just going to keep getting better. There’s been signs along the way,” he said. “I love the way the guys are approaching it.”After grinding through a 12-inning victory on Monday night that lasted 5 hours, 14 minutes, the longest in MLB this year, the Twins experienced some bullpen problems of their own.Alex Colomé allowed three runs in the eighth, though third baseman Miguel Sanó’s second fielding error of the game made two of them unearned.Then Hansel Robles (3-4), who has been one of the team’s steadiest relief options, put himself in trouble with a one-out double by Nick Castellanos and by hitting Tyler Stephenson with a pitch before Naquin’s 12th homer of the season gave the Reds a reason to smile on the way home.“What a season he’s having,” Bell said. “He’s really settling in, and his talent is coming out.”Wade Miley gave the Reds another strong start, too, with two runs allowed on a homer by Ryan Jeffers over seven otherwise-easy innings. Jeffers was the catcher for all 12 innings of the marathon game on Monday and returned to his crouch behind the plate again on Tuesday, as the Twins tried to shake off the bad news of star center fielder Byron Buxton’s broken left hand.“I’ll give credit to Miley. He’s been throwing the ball very well. He was just very sharp. He’s a veteran pitcher who can do a lot of tricky things,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.GETAWAY GUYMiley, who has given up two earned runs in 11 of 13 starts this season, was exactly the pitcher the Reds wanted on the mound for this wrapup to a nine-game road trip. He’s a quick worker who made a particular attempt to keep the pace on a day when he knew his position players would be tired.“It’s picking up the boys. That’s what we do,” said Miley, who threw 94 pitches without a walk.OBERTwins rookie Bailey Ober made his fifth start without a decision. He lasted 4 1/3 innings with four runs allowed.“They had some good swings on him,” Baldelli said. “He probably left a few pitches where he didn’t want them.”TRAINER’S ROOMReds: Starting pitchers Sonny Gray (right groin) and Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder) have been scheduled for rehab assignments. Gray is expected to rejoin the Reds next week after making one three-inning start for Triple-A Louisville. … Antone (right forearm) was activated from the 10-day injured list before the game, and OF Scott Heineman was sent to Triple-A Louisville.Twins: With Buxton out, Gilberto Celestino returned from Triple-A St. Paul to play CF. Regular RF Max Kepler could also fill in there again, rebuilding stamina after missing time to a hamstring injury.UP NEXTReds: Following a day off on Wednesday, RHP Tony Santillan (0-1, 4.70 ERA) will take the mound to begin a four-game series against Atlanta on Thursday night.Twins: After a day off on Wednesday, RHP José Berríos (7-2, 3.56 ERA) will pitch to open a four-game series against Cleveland on Thursday night. The Twins have won seven straight Berríos starts.———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Buxton's bad luck: Twins star shelved again, has broken hand

Buxton's bad luck: Twins star shelved again, has broken hand

The bursts of stardom by Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton keep getting interruptedBy DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports WriterJune 22, 2021, 8:08 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleMINNEAPOLIS — The glimpses of Byron Buxton’s game-changing, worth-the-admission skills have grown broader over the last three years as the Minnesota Twins center fielder has blossomed with the bat to match his long-superior work with the glove.Those bursts of dominance just keep getting interrupted, though: Buxton has landed on the injured list yet again after another bout with bad luck.In his third game back after a 39-game absence to a strained right hip, Buxton was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle on Monday night and broke a bone in his pinky finger. The timetable for his return has not yet been set, as the Twins were still determining a treatment plan and whether surgery would help, but a month or so of recovery time appears likely.Buxton has what is referred to as a boxer’s fracture, which is fitting because he has for much of his career found himself sparring with the injury bug.“He’s beyond upset, and that’s what I would expect from him,” manager Rocco Baldelli said before the game on Tuesday. “This is not something that’s easily described or talked about for anyone. I think the number of traumas, physically, that he’s had to deal with — and because of that, emotionally, when you have to deal with that many types of difficult things — it’s hard on you.”Baldelli had to hold back a restless Buxton last week as his hip rehabilitation wound down, and the 27-year-old was discouraged by the wait for clearance.“It’s a little bit tougher for him to let me go. It’s hard. You know, we let Rocco kind of stick to the managing thing and we just try to get on his nerves to let us play,” Buxton said on Saturday after his return to the lineup. “It’s just one of those things where you want him to tell you no, rather than you feeling like you’re not giving it your all.”Nobody can truly put themselves in Buxton’s position, with 2017 still the only one of his seven major league seasons when he played in more than 60% of the games, but Baldelli can come as close as anyone to sympathizing with his plight. The third-year skipper’s own playing career was cut short by a rare disease that caused muscle fatigue.“The only ways that I knew how to deal with them was trying not to complain, just dealing with whatever came my way, but in actuality I was probably very depressed and probably was not quite acting in the way that I thought I was and didn’t really know what to do at times,” Baldelli said, later adding: “I think Buck and I understand each other very well.”Currently third among outfielders in the American League All-Star voting, Buxton is batting .369 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 19 RBIs in 27 games with a 1.176 OPS. Throw in the Gold Glove defense, and those are MVP award-caliber numbers if they could ever calibrate to a full season.Instead, he’s on the injured list for the 11th time since his debut with the Twins in 2015 — and the 15th time as a professional since they drafted him with the second overall pick in 2012. Some of the past troubles with his shoulder have stemmed from his all-out style of diving for balls and crashing against walls that the Twins have tried to curtail, but this broken hand — much like the concussion, wrist sprains and broken toe that came before — could hardly have been prevented.“He is so tough, and he’s willing to literally play with just about anything. He would have to not be able to walk for him to come out and say, ‘I can’t play.’ The words never come out of his mouth. You would have to literally remove him from the field to get him off the field. That’s just who he is as a guy and as a competitor,” Baldelli said.Three others — Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick and Rob Refsnyder — who have started games in center field this season for the Twins are also on the injured list. Rookie Gilberto Celestino was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to take Buxton’s spot.“It’s not fair for a person who puts in the work that he does and plays the way he plays,” first base coach Tommy Watkins said. “We’ll definitely miss him while he’s out. We always do. We can’t wait to get him back.”———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Sanó homer lifts Twins past Reds 7-5 in 12 innings

Sanó homer lifts Twins past Reds 7-5 in 12 innings

MINNEAPOLIS — The longest game in the major leagues this year left the Minnesota Twins feeling emotionally spent.Their best winning streak of the season is still going, but center fielder Byron Buxton has been sidelined once again.Miguel Sanó hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning to lift Minnesota past Cincinnati 7-5 on Monday night — the fifth straight victory for the Twins and fifth loss in a row for the Reds.With a runner on third and Cincinnati playing a five-man infield, Sanó hammered a 3-1 slider from Heath Hembree (1-3) over the wall in left-center. It was Minnesota’s fourth consecutive extra-innings win after eight straight losses in extras to start the season.“Just trying to find one pitch that’s really good and trying to hit it,” Sanó said.The game lasted 5:14 and ended 30 minutes past midnight, after beginning on a somber note with a remembrance of the late Mike Bell — the former Reds player and Twins coach who died of cancer this year. Bell was the younger brother of Cincinnati manager David Bell.After being hit by a 94 mph fastball from Reds starter Tyler Mahle in the fourth, Buxton played one more inning before being pulled — and diagnosed with a broken left hand. He could miss a month or so, a crushing blow to an oft-injured player who missed 40 games with a strained right hip before returning to action on Saturday.“This isn’t fair. That’s how I feel about the whole thing,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.Matt Shoemaker (3-8), whose struggles as a starter prompted a recent demotion to the bullpen, pitched two hitless innings for the win. Shoemaker loaded the bases in the 12th after two walks, one intentional, but struck out Eugenio Suárez — who had a homer and three RBIs — to escape.“It’s definitely an adjustment being used to starting, but that’s where I am and I’m going to own it and do my best and be great at it,” Shoemaker said.The late innings were quite the testament to endurance and resilience, with a bit of unstable relief pitching mixed in — and stranded runners galore.Nick Castellanos, in a 5-for-26 slide, gave the Reds the lead with a single in the 10th against Jorge Alcala for his first RBI in eight games. Suárez, who had an earlier two-run homer, added a sacrifice fly to turn the game over to Sean Doolittle.The left-hander gave up an RBI double to Luis Arraez and a sacrifice fly to Trevor Larnach as the Twins sent a game to the 11th inning for the first time this season. They’re 3-8 in 10-inning games.Taylor Rogers allowed two hits to Cincinnati in the ninth, but Jonathan India — who was picked off first base in the seventh — over-slid second as he went headfirst for a double and was tagged for the second out. Rogers struck out Jesse Winker to strand a runner at third.Minnesota loaded the bases against Lucas Sims in the bottom of the inning, but he struck out Ryan Jeffers looking on a 96 mph full-count fastball that caught the lower outside corner. Sims then retired Andrelton Simmons on a forceout.IN MEMORYThe Twins held a pregame remembrance for Mike Bell, their well-liked bench coach for the 2020 season who died at age 46 on March 26 of kidney cancer.David Bell caught the ceremonial first pitch from Mike Bell’s widow, Kelly Bell. The Twins presented the Bell family a signed jersey and a $10,000 donation to a local organization, GiGi’s Playhouse, that works for Down syndrome advocacy and support. David Bell’s voice cracked as he addressed the crowd with appreciation.“They did an amazing job, they really did, of putting together something so thoughtful. It says a lot about Mike and who he was and how much he meant to people here, but it also says a lot about the people here with the Twins. So many nice gestures. So many nice gifts,” David Bell said afterward.BACK TO BACKSuárez and Aristides Aquino hit consecutive home runs in the fourth inning against J.A. Happ to bring the Reds back from a 3-0 hole that was started by Nelson Cruz’s homer. Happ is 1-3 with a 9.33 ERA over his last eight starts, with 58 hits and 11 home runs allowed in 36 2/3 innings.HEADS-UP PLAYAlex Kirilloff singled for the Twins in the eighth and simply ran to an empty second base — the rookie’s first career steal — while the Reds nonchalantly prepared for the next batter. The Twins wound up leaving the bases loaded to end that inning.SUMMER CRUZCruz has reached base at least once in all 16 games he’s appeared in this month, with six homers, 13 RBIs and 10 walks.Mahle labored through a 38-pitch second inning. Kirilloff’s RBI single and Arraez’s sacrifice fly followed Cruz’s homer. Larnach whiffed with the bases loaded to end the rally. He took three of the eight strikeouts by Mahle, who lasted only four innings.COME BACK REAL SOONThe Reds went 17 years without any trips to Minnesota in the scheduling quirk of all scheduling quirks, including the first eight seasons of Target Field’s existence. Now they’ve visited the Twins three times in four years. The all-time series is tied at 14.TRAINER’S ROOMReds: RHP Tejay Antone (right forearm inflammation), the team’s top reliever, will be strongly considered for activation from the injured list on Tuesday.Twins: 3B Josh Donaldson (right calf tightness) was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game but entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.UP NEXTReds: LHP Wade Miley (6-4, 2.88 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday afternoon. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 12 turns this season.Twins: RHP Bailey Ober (0-0, 3.71 ERA) will pitch to wrap up the two-game series. The rookie has made four starts, with 21 strikeouts in 17 innings and only two walks.———More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports