Kenta Maeda, Miguel Sano power Twins past Indians

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of a baseball game. (Bruce Kluckhohn/AP)

MINNEAPOLIS — Miguel Sano hit a pair of homers and Kenta Maeda pitched six scoreless innings in his home debut for Minnesota as the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Saturday.

Eddie Rosario added a solo homer for Minnesota, which got another strong start from a veteran newcomer to its starting rotation. Maeda (2-0) retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced and didn’t allow a hit until Bradley Zimmer beat out a weak ground ball to second base in the fifth inning.

Carlos Carrasco (1-1) gave up six hits in six innings for Cleveland and was done in by three solo home runs from the Twins.

Maeda, acquired in an off-season trade from the Dodgers that sent prospect Brusdar Graterol to Los Angeles, was one of three key additions to strengthen Minnesota’s rotation along with Rich Hill and Homer Bailey.

The focus on pitching came after the Twins were second in the majors in runs scored last season and set a single-season record for home runs. Maeda, Hill and Bailey have combined for 21 innings in four starts this season, surrendering just four runs with 18 strikeouts.

Maeda has allowed just two runs in 11 innings in his two starts. The Zimmer infield single was the only hit he allowed on Saturday. His softer mix of changeups and sliders had the Indians batters off-balance, while he could be heard grunting from the mound with no fans in the stands for his home debut.

Trevor May, Cody Stashak and Taylor Rogers finished off the second shutout for Minnesota this season, with Rogers securing his third save.

Sano entered the game with one hit in 17 at-bats, a slow start after recovering from COVID-19 during summer camp. He connected on a line drive homer that reached the back of the bullpens in centre field during the third and added his second of the game in the fifth, hooking another line drive just inside the left-field foul pole.

INDIANS TRADE

Cleveland announced that it has traded RHP James Hoyt to the Miami Marlins in exchange for cash. Hoyt was designated for assignment on July 28.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: OF Tyler Naquin (hairline fracture of right big toe) ran the bases at the team’s alternate training site and is scheduled to participate in simulation games as early as Monday. C Roberto Perez (right shoulder strain) has increased the strengthening exercises for his shoulder and manager Terry Francona said Perez is “about three or four days away from throwing.”

Twins: 3B Josh Donaldson was out of the lineup after leaving Friday’s game with right calf tightness. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Donaldson is still considered day to day and is undergoing treatment, but the team would hold him out until “he’s back and ready to go 100 per cent.” . RHP Zack Littell was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. Baldelli termed it a “minor incident.” Littell has allowed four runs in three innings over two appearances this season. The move is retroactive to July 31 and RHP Jorge Alcala was recalled from the team’s alternate training site.

UP NEXT

RHP Homer Bailey (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will start Sunday’s series finale for Minnesota as Cleveland counters with RHP Aaron Civale (1-0, 3.00). Bailey started the current homestand with five innings and two runs allowed against St. Louis. Civale gave up two runs in six innings and struck out nine batters in beating the White Sox in his first start of the season.

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