MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Luis Arraez hit two triples and a tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth inning, sparking the Minnesota Twins in a 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
Arraez went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, Alex Kirilloff hit a two-run homer and Josh Donaldson also drove in two runs for the Twins.
After a career-high eight total bases, Arraez is batting .371 in 10 games since returning from a shoulder injury. When he’s healthy, his energy, patience and tenacity at the plate can go a long way toward making Minnesota’s lineup come alive.
“He’s a pest, and I love watching him play,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He hasn’t even until this point probably even gotten hot, and he’s still on base all the time.”
Arraez also made a sprinting, sliding catch of a foul ball down the left field line from the first batter of the game, Cesar Hernandez.
“I come here to work hard,” he said.
Griffin Jax (1-0) got his first career victory with 4 1/3 innings in relief, and Hansel Robles recorded his seventh save by finishing the ninth.
Robles allowing a home run to Josh Naylor that was Cleveland’s fourth of the game and tenuously cut the lead to one. The next batter, Bradley Zimmer, hit the ball just as hard for a line drive down the right field line, but Max Kepler threw him out trying to stretch for a double.
Amed Rosario, Bobby Bradley and Eddie Rosario also went deep for the Indians, who took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Nick Wittgren (2-2) gave up two singles in the sixth before Arraez’s double.
Arraez recorded the 31st two-triple game in Twins history, the first since Ehire Adrianza on Aug. 30, 2017. Rosario had one as a rookie for Minnesota in 2015.
The first one skipped past the right fielder Naylor, who lost his balance trying a one-hop scoop with the setting sun in his line of sight in the first inning. In the third, left fielder Harold Ramirez tried to stop the ball by sliding, but it skipped off his leg and toward the warning track.
“In hindsight, probably better off just reaching down for it, but the game’s going fast sometimes,” manager Terry Francona said.
Arraez became the first Twins player to accumulate eight or more total bases without a home run since Joe Mauer on Aug. 3, 2016, against Cleveland.
With the three main members of their rotation on the injured list — Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale — the Indians could have used more from starter Cal Quantrill. The right-hander gave up six hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“I don’t think anybody goes out there just to survive. It’s something we’ve trained a long time to do. We’re trying to win baseball games,” said Quantrill, who allowed a four-run third.
The Twins had to put Randy Dobnak on the injured list with a strained middle finger on his pitching hand, so Danny Coulombe was summoned across the river from Triple-A St. Paul to serve as the opener for a planned bullpen game.
Coulombe went 1 2/3 innings, giving up two homers in the first, but a two-out fielding error by second baseman Jorge Polanco preceded Bradley’s two-run shot. The 31-year-old Coulombe made his first major league start after 155 relief appearances, mostly with Oakland.
Indians: With the three starting pitchers among the eight players currently on the injured list, RHP Brad Peacock was signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Triple-A Columbus as potential rotation depth. Peacock has a 4.01 career ERA in 554 2/3 innings, mostly with Houston.
Twins: RHP Luke Farrell (right oblique) was placed on the 10-day injured list and RHP Cody Stashak (back) was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room for Coulombe.
Indians: Rookie LHP Sam Hentges (1-1, 6.40 ERA) will pitch on Saturday afternoon, about 12 miles from where he grew up. He won a state championship at Target Field with Mounds View High School, but this will be his first major league appearance in his home state. He said he put 35 people on his guest pass list.
Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.85 ERA) will take the mound for the third game of the series. He has finished the sixth inning only once in 11 starts this season, on April 7 at Detroit.
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