Gary Sanchez hit a three-run home run, Max Kepler had three hits and drove in three runs and the Minnesota Twins pounded the host Detroit Tigers 8-2 in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Kepler also scored two runs in the second game of a five-game series. Trevor Larnach drove in two runs and Luis Arraez added two hits and scored twice.
Winning pitcher Devin Smeltzer (2-0) lasted 6 2/3 innings, holding the Tigers to two runs on six hits while striking out four without a walk. Griffin Jax got the last seven outs.
Jeimer Candelario and Daz Cameron drove in Detroit’s runs, while Spencer Torkelson had his second consecutive three-hit game. Rony Garcia (0-1) gave up six runs and seven hits and struck out seven in five innings. He walked one.
Minnesota has won six of eight meetings between the American League Central rivals, heading into the nightcap.
The Twins jumped to a quick 2-0 lead. Arraez led off the game with a single. Kepler hit a one-out single and both advanced on a groundout. Larnach then drilled a fastball off the right-center field wall for a double to knock in both runners.
Minnesota extended its lead to 6-0 in the third. Byron Buxton led off with a single and Kepler brought him home with a double. A Jorge Polanco single put runners on the corners. One out later, Sanchez drilled his sixth homer over the left-center field wall.
The Tigers got one run back in the fourth. Miguel Cabrera hit a single and moved to third on a Javier Baez double. Candelario brought in Cabrera with a groundout.
The Twins tacked on two unearned runs in the seventh. Errors by shortstop Baez and second baseman Jonathan Schoop gave Minnesota two baserunners with no outs. A wild pitch put them in scoring position and Kepler drove them in with a single.
Cameron’s two-out RBI double in the bottom of the inning made it 8-2. He drove in Eric Haase, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
–Field Level Media