The twins give up four home runs, including a Grand Slam, in a 7-1 loss to Arizona
PHOENIX – Sorry, Buddy Kennedy, the Twins are leaving town. You’ll have to get to Cooperstown without them.
The Arizona infielder made his major league debut on Friday, shoving a fly ball into the infield for his first major league hit. On Saturday, the rookie — who attended the same New Jersey high school as Mike Trout — collected his first extra hit, a triple to center field, and scored the Diamondbacks’ only run. But that was just a warm-up for the dream Kennedy achieved on Sunday.
With more than a dozen friends and family rowdying behind home plate and a teammate manning each base, Kennedy tossed a 3-0 fastball from Caleb Thielbar and tossed it into the seats of the field. left, the last and most emphatic of Arizona’s four homers in a 7-1 loss at Chase Field.
Even more symbolic of the Twins’ day: Arizona manager Torey Lovullo had given Kennedy the sign to take, but the rookie didn’t see it because he thought the count was 2-0.
“If I was watching the game on TV, I’d probably smile and be pretty happy for the guy. Having a little encore, all that,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “When it’s against you, it doesn’t really do any good.”
Living a Disney movie, Kennedy raised his fist as he rounded the bases and jumped out of the dugout to acknowledge the chants of “Bud-dy, Buddy!” Living a Hitchcock movie, the Twins packed their bags and left the wasteland with two ugly losses in the three-game series and a mere one-game lead in AL Central with scorching challenger Cleveland headed to Target Field .
These Guardians, 15-4 over the past three weeks, just knocked out the first-place Dodgers in Los Angeles this weekend. Which made it harder for the Twins to declare themselves satisfied with a 3-3 road trip against two sub-.500 teams, the Mariners and Diamondbacks.
“Any time you go west and make .500, I think it’s a successful trip to the west coast,” Chris Archer said after giving up two runs in four innings. “We had higher expectations, but go .500, we’re okay with that.”
That it was the circuits that caused all the damage on Sunday was particularly surprising. Archer hadn’t allowed a home run in his last six starts, the second-longest streak of his career, and Griffin Jax and Thielbar had each gone nine consecutive appearances without one, streaks spanning nearly a year. month.
Still, Christian Walker connected twice against Archer, a pair of solo shots that first tied the game and then gave Arizona the lead. Pavin Smith, batting just .188 entering the game, ambushed a Jax fastball and belted a 420-footer. And Kennedy, in just his third MLB game, took advantage of Thielbar’s control issues and threw a fastball into the seats.
“The only land I wish I could have recovered was the slider, [Walker’s] first home run. I didn’t run it,” Archer said. “The second one I ran [a 94-mph fastball] and he just beat me on the spot. Pull your cap off.”
Archer was pulled after four innings because with a day off Monday and only one relief inning needed the night before, Baldelli wanted to use the rested bullpen. It did not work.
“Caleb had a tough day finding his exit spot,” Baldelli said of Thielbar, who allowed three hits and walked two and recorded just two outs. “[Archer] could have gone over there and given us another round, but [this looked like an] opportunity to use our guys. We just haven’t done the job, but it will happen.”
The Twins, just like they did on Friday against Madison Bumgarner, scored in the first inning and then struggled to add to their lead. This time the silencer was right-hander Merrill Kelly, who gave them far fewer opportunities than Bumgarner. After Luis Arraez started the game with a brace and scored when Carlos Correa hit in a double play, the Twins never again advanced a runner to third base. Kelly allowed just five hits in seven innings.
“A tough way to end the road trip, one of our toughest games at the end,” Baldelli summed up. “It doesn’t feel good. But it will be fine.”