Arizona had the first lead, sure, but much like Joe Mauer’s children, tonight was almost all Twins.
Kenta Maeda spotted the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead, then watched in amusement as Minnesota scored in every inning but the first and seventh, serving up four multi-run frames, and slamming a quartet of homers, two doubles, and a triple in a 17-hit, 12-run onslaught.
In a lineup full of contributors, tonight's offensive hero was Ryan Jeffers, who racked up ten total bases with a double, two homers, and four RBI — not a bad Mauer tribute from the #7-hitting catcher.
Rocco says Jeffers is in line to get a bigger share of at-bats:— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 6, 2023
"You can't swing the bat like that in Major League Baseball games on a consistent basis and not force my hand to get yourself out there a little more. He's making that happen, and we'll want to get him out there."
Willi Castro had the triple, careening into third to tie the game in the second and scoring immediately on Jeffers’ first of two circuit drives. Scoring twice was Edouard Julien, who reached three times; also doubly-plated was Matt Wallner, who had three hits of his own and a couple RBI.
Both Maximum Kepler and Michael A. Tater made cameos, each crushing homers to complement the jefforts of Jeffers, whose second laser of the night tricked him into thinking he’d only laced a two-bagger.
Ryan Jeffers has matched the #MNTwins record for a catcher with 10 total bases in a game, with 2 homers and a double.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 6, 2023
Only five other times a Twins catcher has had 10 total bases:
Jason Castro 7/2/19
Mitch Garver 4/20/19
Mitch Garver 4/9/19
Tim Laudner 5/7/89
Earl Battey 7/9/61
Meanwhile, it was a clean, settled outing from Kenta Maeda. Questionable early control quickly faded into a metered six-inning start, the second-inning run Arizona's only victory in the box score. Maeda allowed two hits, one of them a one-out, second-inning solo liner from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The second hit followed immediately — a bunt single — and the Diamondbacks would not earn another baserunner off King Kenta.
In fact, the Arizona lineup wouldn’t record a hit for the rest of the night, as they desperately tried to stop a five-game skid away from NL Wild Card relevance. Jordan Balazovic had two shutout innings and walked one, and Jovani Moran — despite an emphatically wild ninth inning (30 pitches, 13 strikes, and 3 walks) — didn’t allow a hit or a run, either.
One more note on Kenta — in addition to those two hits, he only allowed two hard-contact results this evening across 87 pitches, issuing no free passes and striking out seven from the Arizona lineup.
Kenta Maeda has a 2.47 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 44 innings since returning from the injured list, holding opponents to a .195 batting average.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) August 6, 2023
Minnesota wrapped up their attack with a two-run eighth against position player Carson Kelly; Jordan Luplow got his first ribbie as a Twin on the second of two deflected singles to the second baseman.
The Diamondbacks are nothing to sneeze at, and the Twins have already taken the first two games of the home series against a really decent team. Tomorrow afternoon, they go for a sweep, as they snooze tonight with the knowledge of a 3.5-game divisional lead.
Hope to see you then!
SP Kenta Maeda (6 IP, 2 H, ER, 0 BB, 7 K)
DH Edouard Julien (3-for-5, 2 R)
RF Max Kepler (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, HR)
LF Matt Wallner (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI)
C Ryan Jeffers (3-for-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
This is not the greatest catcher in the world, no... this is just a tribute.