Suzuki leads Twins past Phillies with six RBI
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kurt Suzuki had the single, the double and the home run. The triple was 90 feet away after his drive down the left-field line landed in the corner, and his Minnesota Twins teammates were playfully waving him to third base.
He stopped at second, plenty satisfied with his night.
Suzuki went 4 for 5 with a career-high six RBIs, leading the Twins to a 14-10 victory Tuesday over Philadelphia that handed the Phillies their eighth straight defeat.
"Everybody was convinced that it would've been close, but I wasn't so convinced," Suzuki said of his two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning that Cody Asche fielded with plenty of time to throw to third. "I didn't want to make it look like a mockery."
The Twins did that to Phillies pitching instead, starting with Trevor Plouffe's two-run triple against Aaron Nola (5-7) in a four-run first inning. Brian Dozier went 3 for 5 with two RBIs, and the Twins beat their season scoring high by five runs.
"It's tough, tough for the team, when I go again three innings," said Nola, whose strong start to the season has screeched to a halt with 20 runs allowed over 9 2/3 innings in his last three turns. "I'm trying to figure something out."
Mikael Franco drove in four runs for the Phillies, including a three-run homer in a four-run eighth against Michael Tonkin that pulled them within 11-10. But Suzuki and the Twins roared back with three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Suzuki is batting .405 with eight extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in his last 10 games.
"You've just got to keep grinding, I guess," said Suzuki, who hasn't produced much at the plate since making the All-Star Game in 2014.
The 12-year veteran catcher could've had the triple out of the way in the third inning, actually, when he sent a bases-loaded pitch from Nola to center field that glanced off Odubel Herrera's glove and rolled to the wall. Max Kepler held up at third, though, and Suzuki had to retreat after running halfway there.
Buddy Boshers (2-0) relieved Tyler Duffey and pitched two innings for the win, moving into a seven-way tie for second place on the staff with two despite being on the team for only four weeks.
The Phillies homered four times, with Peter Bourjos, Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp going deep against the stumbling Duffey, and tallied a season-high 14 hits. They even topped the nine runs they totaled on that horrendous six-game homestand they just finished, but they fell to 4-21 in their last 25 games.
"It's unfortunate that you have to still be a little bit uncomfortable after scoring 14 runs," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
That's largely because of Duffey, who has a 6.18 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in 11 starts after posting a 3.10 ERA in 10 starts with only four homers surrendered last year as a rookie.
"If we have to get him back out there, we're going to have to figure out a way to get better," Molitor said.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin wrapped up a 548-game major league career with the Twins, for whom was a utility infielder during the 1980-81 seasons. Those were the last two for the team at suburban Metropolitan Stadium before moving to the downtown Metrodome, and he hit the last Twins home run at the Met on Sept. 30, 1981. Mackanin was also the last player to wear No. 14 before Kent Hrbek took it the following year. Hrbek's uniform was retired in 1995, and Mackanin joked before the game that should count as his honor, too.
"If we don't start winning," he said, "I might be retired."
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (strained right biceps) will throw up to 75 pitches Wednesday for Double-A Reading on a rehab assignment.
Twins: RF Miguel Sano (strained left hamstring) will start a rehab assignment this weekend with Triple-A Rochester, but the team hasn't yet decided whether he should be a RF, 3B, 1B or DH when he's back.
Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan (1-6, 6.49 ERA) will take the mound for the middle game of the series, on a seven-start winless streak during which he has allowed eight or more hits five times.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.06 ERA), who won 25 games over the past two seasons, will try Wednesday for the seventh time this year to get his first victory.