Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sanchez slugs long homer, Twins pound Diamondbacks 11-1

PHOENIX ( Associated Press) — Dylan Bundy said his job was simpler when it became clear the Minnesota offense was about to have a big day.

Get your teammates back to the plate as soon as possible.

The veteran right-hander bound with eight skillful innings, while the Twins took a big advantage early on, and Minnesota held on to an 11-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

“Your defense doesn’t want to sit there, especially when they’re itching to get back to the bat rack,” Bundy said.

The Twins jumped ahead for a 6-0 lead with their big third inning, a massive two-out from Gary Sanchez, highlighted by a two-run homer that traveled 456 feet into the left-center seats and He left his bat at a speed of over 107 mph. It was the two-time All-Star’s eighth homer of the season.

Alex Kiriloff – recently called up from Triple-A – added a two-run double. The Twins made an aggressive loss even without star slugger Byron Buxton, who had a scheduled day off.

“We made a really great adjustment tonight,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “It’s nice to see good, quality at-bat, hard-hit balls, piled on top of each and converted into runs.”

Ryan Jeffers added a two-run homer in the seventh to make the score 11-1. All twin starters had at least one hit.

Bundy (4-3) retired the first 10 hitters he had faced before Alec Thomas, who bounced one off the middle of the infield.

It was a much-needed good outing for the veteran right-handed batsman, who conceded four hits, scored seven for seven and made none. He came into the game with a 5.87 ERA and gave away 13 earned runs in his last 12 1/3 innings.

Bundy said he tried to keep the same approach throughout the game, even though he was at stake for a huge lead.

“You just try not to think about it,” Bundy said. “You throw the strike, command the ball and work forward.”

It was a rough night for d-back starter Luke Weaver (1-1), who conceded nine earned runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and hit five.

After two relief appearances, Weaver was making his first start of the season. The right-hander missed the first two months of the season due to a swollen elbow. He was once seen as a future cornerstone of the D-back’s rotation, but he has not been able to recapture the success he enjoyed in 2019, when he had a 12-over 2.94 ERA.

D-back infielder Jake Hager made his third pitching appearance of the season, not scoring a ninth. Arizona scored its lone run when Carson Kelly brought home David Peralta with a sacrificial fly in the fifth.

hits galore

The twins’ leadoff hitter Luis Arrez scored 2 for 2 with a walk, bringing his average to an AL-best .363. He was drawn to the pinch hitter in the fifth inning with Minnesota leading 9–0.

Baldelli said the second baseman was battling a non-COVID illness.

rookie success

The D-Backs have got a big lift from 22-year-old rookie Thomas, who has become the team’s starting center fielder since being called up on May 8.

The much-hyped prospect – who came into the game hitting .276 with five homers – extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his single in the fourth.

Fellow rookie Buddy Kennedy had the first extra-base hit of his career with a triple in fifth. The 23-year-old made his league debut on Friday.

instructor room

Diamondbacks: If Keitel Marte (Hamstring) persists day after day. He hasn’t played since Wednesday. … RF Daulton Varsho left the game in sixth place with a heel injury. He was kicked off the field after trying to beat an infield single and was replaced by Jordan Lupalo.

“He’s a very physical, fast runner, trying to take out the base hit and hit it in the wrong place,” said D-back manager Tori Lovullo. “We’ll continue to evaluate him here for the rest of the night and until morning. We’ll see how he feels. For now, he’ll be there day after day.”


Both the teams will play the final of the series on Sunday. RHP Merrill Kelly (5-4, 3.68 ERA) is about to start for the Diamondbacks. The Twins will take on RHP Chris Archer (1-2, 3.35).


More Associated Press MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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