PHOENIX (AP)Jordan Luplow homered twice to back Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2 Friday night.
Luplow’s two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the third, raising his home run total to nine this season with his sixth career two-homer game.
”I’m not trying to swing away and fall over, it just happens,” said Luplow, who has 43 home runs in his career.
Luplow admits it’s been tough to see his batting average, .169 entering Friday’s game, on the scoreboard this season.
”It’s not where you want it to be, but you just gotta chip away and put up good at-bats,” Luplow said.
Luplow joked that he’d rather see his OPS on the scoreboard – at .782.
”At the most critical time of the game, he executed, and the rest of the guys just followed with small ball, base hits, some good clutch hitting,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
Bumgarner (3-6) labored through his first three innings, giving up eight hits but limiting the Twins to two runs. The veteran left-hander then permitted just one hit in the next three innings before being relieved, finishing with three strikeouts and a walk in 103 pitches over six innings.
Byron Buxton hit his 19th home run of the season on the second pitch of the game, a 446-foot blast to the back of the left-field stands for Minnesota. The Twins failed to score later in the inning when Luis Arraez’s deep drive to left-center with two out bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double and runner Gary Sanchez had to return to third. Jose Miranda was retired on a fly to center, ending the inning.
Jake Hager had three hits in his first career multi-hit game for Arizona.
The Diamondbacks scored three more in the fourth and another in the fifth against Twins starter Devin Smeltzer (3-1). Arizona was helped by some erratic Minnesota defense, with Smeltzer fielding a bunt by Hager and throwing it away, allowing two runs to score. Later in the inning, a popup on the first-base side dropped between Smeltzer, catcher Gary Sanchez and first baseman Jose Miranda. Given new life, Carson Kelly singled to drive in Hager.
”We couldn’t hit the ball any harder, but that’s just the way it goes. None of that matters. We couldn’t find a way today,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
Smeltzer lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs, six earned.
Infielder Buddy Kennedy made his major league debut and picked up his first career hit, a single against Smeltzer in the fifth inning. He was 1 for 3 with a walk and scored a run.
The 23-year-old Kennedy was the Diamondbacks’ DH on Friday. He was batting .296 with four homers at Triple-A Reno. He replaced OF Jake McCarthy, who was optioned to Reno earlier in the week.
Kennedy is from Millville, New Jersey, the same town as the Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout. Kennedy’s grandfather, former Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Don Money, was in attendance at Chase Field on Friday.
Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco (lower back tightness) was placed on the injured list for the first time in his nine-year major league career. The move, retroactive to Monday, came after Polanco hadn’t noticed any improvement since feeling something during his first at-bat Sunday against Tampa Bay.
The Twins recalled Alex Kiriloff from St. Paul to replace Polanco. The outfielder-first baseman was batting .385 with 10 homers in 28 games at Triple-A after beginning the season with the Twins. He was sent down after a .172 start in 10 games. Baldelli expects that Luis Arraez will get most of the time at second base, with Kiriloff among those filling in at first base.
Diamondbacks: 2B Ketel Marte was out of the lineup Friday, and the team was awaiting results of an MRI exam on his left hamstring. ”We’re pulling him back for the right reasons,” Lovullo said. ”We need him for the entire season.”
Marte was limited to 90 games last season with a hamstring injury.
Dylan Bundy (3-3, 5.87) pitches against Luke Weaver (1-0, 4.91) in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday.
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