img
Kenta Maeda sharp, Byron Buxton homers as Twins complete sweep at Texas with 4-2 victory

Kenta Maeda sharp, Byron Buxton homers as Twins complete sweep at Texas with 4-2 victory

June 20, 2021
Click here to view original web page at www.startribune.com

Twins righthander Kenta Maeda pitched into the sixth inning Sunday at Texas to earn his third victory of the season. ARLINGTON, TEXAS – When the Twins left on their weeklong road trip, their roster didn’t include Byron Buxton, Max Kepler or Kenta Maeda, and they hadn’t won a series […]

Click here to view original web page at www.startribune.com


Twins righthander Kenta Maeda pitched into the sixth inning Sunday at Texas to earn his third victory of the season.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – When the Twins left on their weeklong road trip, their roster didn't include Byron Buxton, Max Kepler or Kenta Maeda, and they hadn't won a series in nearly a month. It's no coincidence that Sunday, that trio combined to finish off a sweep of the Rangers.

Buxton's two-run first-inning home run staked Maeda to a two-run lead, Kepler's third-inning single increased that cushion to four runs, and the Twins' Opening Day starter took a shutout into the sixth inning. That and more strong support from the bullpen delivered a 4-2 victory over Texas and kept the Twins unbeaten at Globe Life Field.

The Twins come home Monday with a different team than the one that left, and with a different outlook, too, after matching its season-best four-game winning streak. And the biggest transformation came not from a lineup slowly returning to health, but from a bullpen slowly returning to competence.

The winning streak was built on pitching, and especially relief pitching; Twins relievers contributed 16⅔ innings of work over the past four games, and allowed only three earned runs, including 7⅔ consecutive shutout innings the past two days.

"Thank God things are turning around for good," said Hansel Robles, who — pitching for the third day in a row — retired the Rangers in order in the ninth inning to earn his sixth save. "Right now, we're working as a team, and individually, each of us are executing our pitches and throwing the ball where we want to."

That's a big turnaround for a relief staff that entered Sunday ranked 14th in the American League with a 4.89 ERA. Their mark during the winning streak? 1.62.

Article Categories:
Texas

Comments are closed.