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Efficient Twins pull off victory over Guardians

May 15, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) reacts after hitting a home run off Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Urshela and Byron Buxton each hit home runs, and the Minnesota Twins held on for a 3-1 win over the visiting Cleveland Guardians on Sunday afternoon at Minneapolis.

Max Kepler added an RBI for the Twins, who for the second time in the just-completed three-game series despite tallying only four hits.

Jose Ramirez homered for the Guardians. Richie Palacios went 2-for-3 for Cleveland, which has lost three of four.

Twins right-hander Joe Ryan (4-2) collected his first victory since April 27. He limited the Guardians to one run on four hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out five.

Guardians right-hander Triston McKenzie (2-3) took the loss despite recording a quality start. He allowed three runs on three hits in seven innings with two walks and four strikeouts

Minnesota’s bullpen preserved the narrow lead to secure the victory. Right-hander Cody Stashak pitched a scoreless seventh, while right-hander Joe Smith and left-hander Caleb Thielbar combined for a scoreless eighth.

In the ninth, Twins right-hander Emilio Pagan pitched around a two-out double to earn his fifth save.

The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Luis Arraez drew a one-out walk, stole second base and scored on a single to right field by Kepler.

Cleveland evened the score at 1-1 on Ramirez’s home run in the fourth. He pulled an 84 mph changeup over the wall in left field for his eighth homer of the season and his first since April 29, snapping a 12-game drought.

Minnesota regained a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Urshela went deep for the second time in as many days to notch his third home run of the season.

Another Twins homer, this time by Buxton, made it 3-1 in the fifth. Buxton turned on a 91-mph fastball for his team-leading 11th homer in 23 games.

The Twins and Guardians will not meet again until June 21-23, when they are scheduled to reconvene in Minnesota. They are set to play each other 19 times this season, with three games down and 16 remaining.

–Field Level Media