Max Kepler hit two solo home runs, Joe Ryan pitched seven dominant innings and the Minnesota Twins stretched their winning streak to six games by blanking the Detroit Tigers 5-0 on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Kepler, who also homered in the series opener on Tuesday, has 12 career multi-homer games. Minnesota’s Ryan Jeffers supplied a two-run homer and RBI double, while Trevor Larnach doubled twice and scored two runs.
The only hit against Ryan (3-1) was a fourth-inning single by Miguel Cabrera. Ryan, who walked one and struck out nine, has given up just one run in his last three outings covering 19 innings.
Joe Smith and Danny Coulombe tossed an inning apiece to finish off the shutout.
Detroit starter Michael Pineda (1-1) gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out two without issuing a walk.
The Twins collected a walk-off victory on Tuesday when Tigers catcher Eric Haase made a throwing error in the ninth inning that capped a game-ending, two-run play. The middle game of the series didn’t offer the same kind of drama, as Ryan silenced the Tigers’ batters.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the second. Kepler smacked a fastball to the opposite field off Pineda for his first homer of the night.
In the fourth inning, Kepler pulled a Pineda changeup well over the right-center-field wall.
The Twins made it 4-0 in the fifth. Larnach led off with a double and scored on Jeffers’ second homer of the season, a liner over the left field wall.
Larnach and Jeffers hit back-to-back doubles off Andrew Chafin in the seventh to make it 5-0. Chafin, who signed a two-year, $13 million contract as a free agent in March, was making his Tigers debut after coming off the 10-day injured list. He had been sidelined by a groin injury.
Robbie Grossman had a one-out double in the ninth for Detroit’s second hit. Austin Meadows and Javier Baez then flied out to end the game.
The teams will play the series finale on Thursday afternoon, with the Tigers looking to snap a four-game losing streak.
–Field Level Media