Carlos Correa hits 2-run double as Minnesota Twins top San Diego Padres 5-3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Carlos Correa hit a two-run double in the seventh inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 on Thursday.
Kyle Farmer homered as Minnesota earned its second straight victory after a stretch of five losses in seven games. Emilio Pagán (3-0) got three outs for the win, and Jorge López pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
Correa, who returned to Minnesota when he finalized a $200 million, six-year contract in January, was booed again by the home crowd after two strikeouts earlier in the game. But he capped the Twins' three-run seventh when he pulled a ground ball down the left-field line against Brent Honeywell (2-2).
“They all feel good but these ones feel extra special,” Correa said. “Build on that, keep with the same routine in the cage, I’ve been feeling really good at the plate, so yeah, just keep going.”
Amid the team’s offensive struggles, Correa admitted to hearing boos and said he understood the reaction from fans following Tuesday’s loss to the Padres.
With Correa and his .189 average starting the day taking the brunt of the blame as the highest-paid player in team history, AL Central-leading Minnesota entered with a major league-low .220 batting average.
“You don’t know what’s to come, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy gets rolling and never looks back,” Twins manager Rocco Baldellli said. “He’s done that many times in his career, and I think he looks good right now, I really do.”
San Diego star Fernando Tatis Jr. homered on the first pitch of the game and Rougned Odor connected for his first homer of the season. But the Padres were 1 of 7 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base, including the bases loaded in the eighth against Brock Stewart.
San Diego started the day last in baseball with a .205 average with runners in scoring position. Over the last eight games, the Padres are 9 for 67 (.134) with runners on second and third.
“We’ve got to perform better, is what we have to do," San Diego manager Bob Melvin said. "So yeah, we hit some balls hard today, but we put way too much pressure on our pitching late in the game and we have guys who can perform better. And we’re going to, but it’s time to quit just talking about it. It’s time to go out there and do it.”
NOT TAKING A CHANCE
San Diego starter Yu Darvish surrendered four hits and struck out seven in six innings. He threw only 80 pitches before he was replaced by Honeywell to start the seventh. Darvish was visited by Melvin and a trainer before the sixth but stayed in and finished a 1-2-3 inning.
Melvin became concerned when he saw Darvish shaking his arm.
“There might be a tiny bit of tightness, but I was not going to let him go out there for the seventh inning if he was feeling anything," Melvin said. “He’s OK. He wanted to go out there. He’ll be fine for his next start. I just didn’t want him to have to go out there and pitch the seventh inning if I didn’t think he was 100%.”
Farmer was plunked by Darvish in the second in his second game back after a hit-by-pitch caused a laceration and the adjustment of four teeth.
“I knew it was coming sooner than later,” Farmer said.
Twins: RHP Tyler Mahle will undergo Tommy John surgery after getting a second opinion from Dr. Keith Meister. Mahle, who has made just nine starts due to injury since being acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline last year, is a free agent after the season. ... OF Max Kepler was pulled with a cramp in his leg after he drove in a run with a fielder's choice before Correa's big hit in the seventh. Baldelli said Kepler should be fine, though he might not be in the lineup Friday against a left-handed pitcher.
Padres: The road trip continues as San Diego faces the Los Angeles Dodgers for three games. LHP Blake Snell (1-5, 4.89 ERA) starts on Friday against Los Angeles RHP Dustin May (4-1, 2.68 ERA).
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.35 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game home series on Friday against the Chicago Cubs. Chicago is scheduled to start LHP Drew Smyly (3-1, 3.05 ERA).
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