Friday, March 31, 2023

Jordan Luplo 2HR, Diamondback Top Twins 7-2 . slowed down

PHOENIX ( Associated Press) — Jordan Luplo beat two back-to-back Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on Friday night to beat the Minnesota Twins.

Luplo’s two-run homer in the first and a single shot in the third extended his home run to nine this season with the two-homer game of his sixth career.

“I’m not trying to swing and fall, it just happens,” said Luplo, who scored 43 home runs in his career.

Luplo admitted that it has been difficult to see his batting average of .169 on this season’s scoreboards enter Friday’s game.

“It’s not where you want to be, but you just have to chip away and keep the good batsmen,” Luplo said.

Luplo joked that he would love to see his Ops on the scoreboard — at .782.

“At the most critical of the game, he executed, and the rest followed with a short ball, a base hit, some good clutch hitting,” said Diamondbacks manager Torre Lovullo.

Bumgarner (3-6) worked his first three innings, giving up eight hits, but restricted the Twins to two. The veteran left-hander allowed just one hit in the next three innings before being relieved, finished with three strikeouts and went for a walk on 103 pitches in six innings.

Byron Buxton hit his 19th home run of the season on the game’s second pitch, blasting 446 feet behind left-field for Minnesota. The twins failed to score later in the innings when a deep drive from left center with two outs from Luis Arrez bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double and runner Gary Sanchez had to return to third. Jose Miranda retired on a fly-to-centre, ending the innings.

Jake Hager delivered three hits in his first career multi-hit game for Arizona.

The Diamondbacks scored three in fourth and another against Twins starter Devin Smeltzer (3–1) in fifth. Arizona was helped by a somewhat precarious Minnesota defense, with Smeltzer fielding a bunt by Hagar and throwing it, leading to two runs. Later in the innings, a popup fell on the first-base side between Smeltzer, catcher Gary Sanchez and first baseman Jose Miranda. Seeing new life, Carson Kelly sings the song to drive into Hagar.

“We couldn’t hit the ball hard enough, but that’s how it goes,” he said. None of this matters. We ain’t got no way today,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.

Smeltzer lasted 4 1/3 innings, conceding nine hits and seven runs, earning six.

First entry

Infielder Buddy Kennedy made his major league debut and scored his first career hit against Smeltzer in the fifth inning. He was 1 for 3 with a walk and scored a run.

Kennedy, 23, was the Diamondbacks’ DH on Friday. He was batting .296 with four homers in Triple-A Reno. He replaces Jake McCarthy, who had been drafted to Reno earlier in the week.

Kennedy is from Millville, New Jersey, the same city as Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout. Kennedy’s grandfather, former Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Don Money, was in attendance at Chase Field on Friday.

instructor room

Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco (lower back stiffness) was named injured for the first time in his nine-year major league career. The retrospective move on Monday came after Polanco had seen no improvement since he felt something out of place during his first at-bat against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

The Twins recalled Alex Kiriloff from St. Paul to replace Polanco. The outfielder-first baseman was batting .385 with 10 homers in 28 games in Triple-A after starting the season with the Twins. He was sent down after starting .172 in 10 matches. Baldelli expects Luis Arrez to be found at second base most of the time, with Kiriloff among first base fills.

Diamondbacks: 2B Keitel Marte was eliminated from the lineup on Friday, and the team awaits the results of an MRI test on his left hamstring. “We’re pulling him back for the right reasons,” Lavullo said. “We need him for the whole season.”

Marte was restricted to 90 matches last season with a hamstring injury.


Dylan Bundy (3-3, 5.87) pitches against Luke Weaver (1-0, 4.91) in the second game of the three-match series on Saturday.


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