Twins club five home runs, top Cleveland 8-4
MINNEAPOLIS — Byron Buxton homered for the second straight night, Rich Hill got his first win since July and the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 8-4 on Saturday.
Minnesota won for the ninth time in 11 games since it closed August with a six-game slide. It remained a game back of the AL Central-leading White Sox, who pounded Detroit in a 14-0 victory.
Hill (2-1) struck out seven while working five innings of two-run ball. It was his first win since his first start of the season July 29 against St. Louis.
Buxton’s two-run shot deep to the bullpens in left-center field was his eighth of the year and third in four games. Marwin Gonzalez and Willians Astudillo hit consecutive homers off Zach Plesac in the second. Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sanó then went back-to-back in the ninth inning for the Twins.
Plesac (3-2) surrendered a season-high five runs in seven innings. He was making his third start since being recalled from the team’s alternate training site following a violation of the team’s coronavirus protocols.
A year after setting the major league record for home runs in a season, Minnesota’s “Bomba Squad” hasn’t gone deep with the same regularity, despite adding Josh Donaldson to the mix. But the Twins have shown signs of returning to their powerful 2019 form since Donaldson and Buxton returned from the injured list.
Buxton had one of two homers against Cleveland’s Shane Bieber on Friday night, and Minnesota has 21 home runs in its past 11 games.
José Ramírez homered for Cleveland for the second straight game, but the Indians dropped their fifth straight. They have scored six runs over their past four games.
Twins: OF Brent Rooker was replaced in the fourth inning after being hit by a pitch from Plesac. The team announced Rooker has a right forearm injury. … RHP Jake Odorizzi (chest contusion) threw five innings on Friday at the team’s alternate training site and could be activated from the injured list next week during the upcoming road trip. … C Mitch Garver (right intercostal strain) is catching at the alternate site and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said he has “turned a corner.” … OF Max Kepler (left adductor strain) has started taking at-bats in his rehab. … RHP Homer Bailey, out since Aug. 2 with right biceps tendinitis, has thrown live bullpen sessions and manager Rocco Baldelli said the expectation is Bailey will be ready to return this season. … C Alex Avila (low back tightness) has taken batting practice during his rehab.
Minnesota RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 2.77 ERA) makes his third start of the season Sunday afternoon in the series finale. Cleveland will have rookie RHP Triston McKenzie (2-0, 2.57 ERA) on the mound.