Kirilloff's single scores automatic runner in 11th, Twins top Padres
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Alex Kirilloff’s single in the 11th inning scored automatic runner Max Kepler and the Minnesota Twins pulled out a 4-3 win against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.
With Kepler on second, Carlos Correa was intentionally walked. Kirilloff then pulled a pitch from Domingo Tapia (0-1) down the right-field line to help Minnesota snap a three-game losing streak.
Griffin Jax (2-4) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 11th to secure the win for the Twins after both teams scored their automatic runners in the 10th.
“Obviously, the last couple of years have been dealing with some injuries and stuff like that,” said Kirilloff, who was in his fourth game back in the majors after two wrist surgeries the past two years. “It feels good to feel healthy and be back here and playing ball.”
Kepler homered, doubled and scored three runs for Minnesota, which got another quality start from Pablo López.
“That’s a really good win,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “There was a lot of stuff going on in that game. A lot of it was subtle. A lot of it was apparent. But our pitching went out there and kind of took the bull by the horns there.”
Juan Soto homered for San Diego, which has lost three of four. Josh Hader blew his second save in 13 chances this season when pinch-hitter Donovan Solano singled in the 10th to score the automatic runner. The Padres are winless in four extra-inning games this season.
“We had our opportunities,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said. “We did get some big hits today and we came back against a really good bullpen, and they had a lead, just couldn’t finish it off.”
San Diego loaded the bases in the top of the 11th after a pair of walks — one intentional — but Matt Carpenter struck out looking for the third time in the game to end the inning.
The Padres went hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base. They started the night 29th in baseball hitting with runners in scoring position with a .208 average, just ahead of Detroit at .207.
“It’s not just one guy,” infielder Jake Cronenworth said. “I feel like it’s a group. We just need to execute better in those situations.”
Minnesota’s early lead would have been 3-0 if not for San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. in right field. Kirilloff hit a hard single to Tatis, who threw out Correa trying to score from second. According to MLB’s Twitter feed, Tatis’ throw registered 100 mph, the fastest throw for an outfield assist this season.
“It’s going to be a one-of-a-kind arm,” Melvin said. “You saw what he has to offer right there. ... It’s a huge weapon in right field and he was really looking forward to it, too.”
López didn’t allow a hit until Xander Bogaert’s infield single leading off the fifth. He departed after striking out Bogaerts in the seventh, one batter after Soto hit his sixth homer.
López didn’t have his typical pinpoint command, walking a season-high four. But he gave up just two hits and struck out eight. Minnesota starting pitchers started the day with the league’s second-best ERA (3.14), batting average against (.223) and were first in strikeouts (226).
Twins: IF Kyle Farmer was reinstated from the injured list four weeks after he was hit in the face by a 92 mph fastball thrown by Chicago’s Lucas Giolito that caused a laceration and knocked four teeth out of alignment. 3B Jose Miranda was optioned to Triple-A St. Paul.
RHP Yu Darvish (2-2, 3.19 ERA) starts the afternoon series finale for San Diego, while Minnesota sends RHP Bailey Ober (2-0, 0.98) to the mound. Darvish has allowed more than one earned run just twice in his six starts. Ober has allowed two runs in 18 1/3 innings since taking the rotation spot of the injured Kenta Maeda.
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