Jorge Polanco made his return to Minnesota’s lineup with a two-run home run and three RBIs in the Twins’ 6-0 win over the host Cleveland Guardians in the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday.
The Guardians won 3-2 in the first game of the twinbill. They’ve now been shut out four times this season, twice in the last week.
Twins starter Josh Winder (3-2), called up as the Twins’ 27th man for the doubleheader, performed like a seasoned veteran. The right-hander pitched six innings and allowed four hits, no runs, one walk and one strikeout.
Polanco was activated from the injured list for the second game after he missed the previous 14 games with a sore back. His last game was on June 12 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.
The veteran second baseman was 2-for-4 with a walk in his first game back. Polanco drilled a high fastball from losing pitcher Konnor Pilkington (1-1) an estimated 409 feet to left center for his eighth home run of the season in the third inning.
Luis Arraez, the American League’s top hitter at .344, drove in Carlos Correa from first with his first triple of the season for the Twins’ first run. Polanco followed with the two-run blast to make it 3-0.
Polanco’s hustle resulted in Minnesota’s fourth run in the fifth. After the Twins loaded the bases against Pilkington, reliever Enyel De Los Santos was called in from the bullpen.
Polanco followed with a sharp grounder to second. He was originally called out on a 4-6-3 double play that would have ended the inning. However, after a video replay, Polanco was called safe at first as Byron Buxton came home for a 4-0 advantage.
Jose Miranda belted his fifth home run of the season to lead off the sixth to extend the Twins’ lead to 5-0.
Buxton’s 20th home run came on reliever Anthony Castro’s first pitch in the ninth for a six-run advantage for Minnesota. It traveled an estimated 427 feet.
Pilkington pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits, four runs with three walks and four strikeouts.
Cleveland managed just five hits, including two doubles by Oscar Gonzalez.
Minnesota is now three games in front of the Guardians in the Central Division, with two more games remaining in the five-game series. Cleveland has lost six of its last seven games.
–Field Level Media