MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gary Sánchez hit a grand slam in the third deck and Byron Buxton hit two of Minnesota’s six home runs as the Twins fought their way past the Seattle Mariners 10-4 on Sunday for their first win of the season.
Carlos Correa threw his first home run for Minnesota. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco also went deep, and Sánchez added an RBI brace to give him five RBIs for the Twins, who had eight hits in 2-1, 4-3 losses on Friday and Saturday.
Bailey Ober recorded five innings for the win, gave up more than enough cushion to withstand a three-run homer in third by Mitch Haniger.
Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales allowed three homers, as he did in his first start of 2021, and lasted just two innings. Four of the six runs against Gonzales were unearned, thanks to a two-out field error in the first inning by second baseman Adam Frazier.
Gio Urshela had to get out of bounds as he scrambled from first to second, creating a potential distraction for Frazier as he positioned himself for the ball in the shadows in shallow right field. Then Sánchez, who came to the Twins with Urshela last month in trade who sent Josh Donaldson to the Yankees, crushed a 2-2 change from Gonzales about 446 feet in the highest seats above left field for a 5-0 lead.
Sánchez watched the ball fly for a second before tossing his bat and giving a casual thumbs up to his dugout as he began his jog around the bases.
Derided in New York for his lackluster defense at receiver, Sánchez made an important play early in the first. He deftly blocked the plate with his left leg to prevent Jesse Winker from scoring on Haniger’s brace, ending the inning after Correa’s throw to shortstop.
Correa, the headliner acquisition of a bold and busy march through Minnesota’s front office, managed to outrun Sánchez with a solo shot to the third deck of the sixth.
According to Statcast data from MLB, the home run in Correa covered 458 feet with an exit speed of 113 mph. It was the second hardest home run of his career on record, a fraction slower than the one he hit for Houston six years ago.
THE BUCK DOESN’T STOP
Before all the trades and signings the Twins have made in the past month, they recorded their most impactful transaction with a seven-year, $100 million extension for Buxton, their prized center back whose enviable skills have never been slowed down. than by injury. After hitting a two-run homer in the eighth inning on Saturday, Buxton went deep on his first two hits against Gonzales on Sunday.
It was Buxton’s fifth career multi-home run game. Both were line drives after infields that weren’t too far for his killer fastball swing to muscle them over the left field wall.
ORDER AN OBER
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli says the right-handed Ober, who made 20 starts last year during a strong rookie season, was the most stretched member of the six-man rotation the Twins are with. have started. The 6-foot-9 Ober allowed an RBI single to Frazier three hitters before Haniger’s homer but recovered to retire seven straight.
The 28-player limit at the start of the season gave Mariners manager Scott Servais the rare opportunity to throw three different catchers in the first three games. Luis Torrens was crouched behind the plate on Sunday, after Cal Raleigh and Tom Murphy took the first two corners.
The Mariners send RHP Chris Flexen to the mound Monday night to complete the four-game series, and RHP Dylan Bundy makes his debut for the Twins.
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