Twins hit back-to-back first-inning home runs, beat Rangers
Luis Arraez and Jose Miranda hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning off former Twin Martin Pérez.
MINNEAPOLIS — His former manager isn’t surprised to see it. There’s always been a thought with Martin Perez, Rocco Baldelli said, that “this was in the tank.”
Perez is in the midst of the best season of his career, which earned him his first all-star nod. The lefty entered the day with a 2.79 earned-run average, and while the Twins tagged him for six runs when they traveled to Texas last month, runs were harder to come by on Friday.
The Twins managed just two runs off him in his six-inning outing, which would be just enough in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Rangers in the series opener at Target Field.
Two big swings in the first inning — Luis Arraez’s seventh home run of the season, which he sent out to right field, and Jose Miranda’s 12th home run of the year, which he sent out to left field — in back-to-back plate appearances provided the Twins with all the offense they would need.
The Twins had another opportunity against Perez in the fifth after he walked a pair of batters, but the southpaw stranded both of them, fanning Miranda, one of seven strikeouts for him on the night, to end the threat. The Twins recorded just one hit after the second inning.
But the thin margin was enough on a night where Dylan Bundy cruised through his own start, facing very little trouble. He gave up just two hits and pitched into the sixth inning for the first time in more than a month, leaving with a runner on base and one out in the sixth. That run eventually scored on a Nathaniel Lowe single.
Otherwise, the Rangers did little else against the Twins bullpen. In the ninth, after Jorge Lopez walked a pair of batters, he induced a fly ball and Max Kepler caught Charlie Culberson off of second base for a game-ending double play.
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