MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jorge Polanco homered and Bailey Ober pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Sunday.
Michael A. Taylor also connected for Minnesota, which won for just the second time in eight games after a 10-4 start. Polanco had three hits, and Ryan Jeffers and Jose Miranda each had two.
Washington finished with three hits after it had 15 in Saturday’s 10-4 win. Keibert Ruiz hit an RBI double in the first to account for the team’s only run.
Polanco opened the fourth with a drive off the left-field foul pole for his first homer of the season. Taylor added a two-out shot to center for his fourth homer.
“I was doubting it when I hit it,” Polanco said.
Polanco, who missed the first 19 games because of left knee inflammation, made it 3-1 with an RBI single in the fifth.
“When Polo’s really swinging it right-handed he becomes a real danger as a player,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
“He’s historically been an even better hitter from the left side, so when he’s going out there shooting balls, hitting line drives all over the field right-handed that’s almost an added bonus.”
Caleb Thielbar and Jorge López combined for 2 1/3 hitless innings before Jhoan Duran had a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save. It was Baldelli’s 300th win as Twins manager.
Recalled from Triple-A St. Paul, Ober (1-0) made his first start of the season for Minnesota. He struck out four and walked three in 5 2/3 innings.
Ober walked two in a 28-pitch first inning, but left runners on second and third by striking out Dominic Smith. He needed just 28 pitches for his final 2 2/3 innings.
“I feel like I was trying to be a little bit too much, kind of getting out of myself. But I was able to kind of refocus and really attack the zone and attack these guys and make them swing the bat,” Ober said.
Ober’s pickoff attempt against Alex Call led to a rundown to end the fifth, two batters after a defensive gem when Jeffers scooped up a bunt inches in front of home plate, spun and threw to second to begin a double play.
Patrick Corbin (1-3) permitted three runs and seven hits in six innings for the Nationals, lowering his ERA from 6.30 to 5.88. He has allowed five earned runs over 12 innings in his past two starts after yielding 12 runs in 14 innings across his first three outings.
“A couple of mistakes that they hit the two solo homers on. But I thought other than that, they made some weak contact,” he said. “I made some good pitches. Slider felt pretty good today. I was hoping to get this sweep done today, but just overall, I thought it was all right.”
To make room for Ober, Minnesota optioned right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson to Triple-A. In his season debut, Woods Richardson threw 97 pitches in 4 2/3 innings of relief Saturday.
Nationals: RF Lane Thomas was given his first day off. He is tied for the team lead with 22 hits.
Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda is listed as Wednesday’s starter, but Baldelli said that’s far from certain. Maeda was hit in the ankle by a line drive Thursday in Boston. He is slated to throw a bullpen Monday that Baldelli said would need to go “quite well” for the pitcher to face the Yankees.
Nationals: Josiah Gray (0-4, 3.74 ERA) starts Tuesday at the New York Mets. New York has not announced a starter.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (2-0, 0.82 ERA) starts Monday as Minnesota opens a three-game home series with the Yankees. New York plans to start RHP Jhony Brito (2-1, 5.40 ERA).
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