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The first pitch set the tone for Minnesota.
Jake Cave robbed Tim Beckham of a home run
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, helping Lance Lynn bounce back from two poor starts, and Max Kepler homered to lead the Twins to a 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Beckham drilled Lynn’s first offering to the deepest part of Target Field, but Cave raced to the wall, leapt, reached back and caught the ball while fully extended to deny a home run.
”It’s up there with actually hitting a home run, it’s cool to be able to help the pitcher like that and take one back,” Cave said.
Beckham tipped his cap to the Twins’ rookie.
”That’s pretty cool for him to do that. I’m sure he’s made a lot of great plays against guys in his career, so he knows what it feels like to do something like that,” Cave said.
It was the second straight day Cave made a fully extended catch at the wall. He robbed Chris Davis in right-center Thursday.
”I definitely didn’t want to start the game by giving up a solo home run. One heck of a play and I was able to get into a rhythm after that,” Lynn said.
Lynn (6-7) allowed six hits and one earned run in six innings as he continued his up-and-down season. He allowed 11 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings over his previous two starts
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, including seven in 1 2/3 innings last Sunday at Wrigley Field. His ERA was 1.74 ERA in six starts from May 22 to June 20, but 7.47 in his first eight starts of the season.
”You’re gonna have your good ones and your bad ones,” he said.
Up 6-0, Lynn needed 27 pitches to get through the sixth when Baltimore scored its first run, including 10 against Jonathan Schoop, an at-bat that ended in a double play.
”I threw a couple pitches that I thought he’d do that earlier,” Lynn said. ”He covers a lot of the plate both sides and he finally hit a ball and we were able to turn it.”
Caleb Joseph had a season-high three hits for the Orioles, losers of four straight and 11 of 12.
In his first start since going on the disabled list June 23 with a left ankle sprain, Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy (6-8) allowed nine hits and five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. It is his second-shortest start of the season. The right-hander allowed seven runs without recording an out May 8 vs. Kansas City.
Brian Dozier and Jorge Polanco had RBI singles in the first inning as Minnesota jumped out to a 3-0 lead, increasing Bundy’s opening frame ERA to 9.00. It is 3.13 in innings two through nine.
Kepler made it 5-0 in the fourth with a two-run homer to right field.
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, I was trying to miss low and it ended up right down the middle and he was able to hit it out. That was pretty much how the whole game was, throwing stuff right down the middle,” Bundy said.
Polanco, Joe Mauer, Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver each had two hits for the Twins, who have won two straight after a six-game skid.
FRY IS FINE
In his third career game, Baltimore reliever Paul Fry struck out four and did not allow a hit in 2 1-3 innings. The left-hander was called up June 29.
”Pitching looks easy when you locate a fastball and spin a ball for a strike anytime in the count, but it’s not that easy. He was in a really good place today and you could tell,” said manager Buck Showalter.
Orioles: To make room for Bundy, RHP David Hess was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. . INF Luis Sardi锟絘s (left ankle sprain) was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. He cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Norfolk.
Twins: Manager Paul Molitor said there is a ”really good chance” INF Ehire Adrianza
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, out since July 2 with a left hamstring strain, will be ready to play when he can come off the DL next Thursday. . INF/OF Taylor Motter was activated off the 7-day DL (concussion-like symptoms) and optioned to Double-A Chattanooga.
A pair of right-handers are scheduled to start Saturday with Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman (4-6, 4.05) facing Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson (2-6, 3.58). Gausman has allowed two or fewer runs in four straight starts. Gibson has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last nine turns.
Utah has a chance to write one more chapter to an improbable comeback story.
The Jazz put themselves in position to claim the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference after cruising to a 119-79 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Utah did not waste time taking control of the game and led by double digits over the final 3 1/2 quarters.
Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points and set an NBA rookie record for 3-pointers. Mitchell went 4 of 5 behind the arc and has made 186 3-pointers this season, breaking Damian Lillard’s record for a first-year player.
”I am actually thrilled for him that he did that,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”He has been our guy, offensively, all year who we have relied on. He’s unselfish, which makes the guys around him better.”
Derrick Favors added 16 points and nine rebounds. Jonas Jerebko scored 14 points, and Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio added 13 points apiece for the Jazz.
Utah (48-33) won its sixth straight game and went 3-1 in the season series with Golden State. Now the Jazz are tied with Portland in the standings and can claim the No. 3 seed with a win over the Blazers on Wednesday night.
”What makes it a story is no one expected it
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,” Mitchell said. ”But the thing I’ve said all year is we knew we were going to be good. I don’t think we knew we were going to be 3 seed good, but we knew we were going to be good.”
It is a surprising position for a Utah team that lost last season’s top scorers Gordon Hayward and George Hill to free agency over the summer and was nine games below .500 at one point in mid-January.
The Jazz believed all along they could climb back into the playoff picture and make serious noise in the Western Conference.
”Guys took it upon themselves to just get better in the offseason,” Favors said. ”We just stuck with the plan throughout the whole season and right now we’re fighting for the third spot. Gotta give credit to everybody on this team.”
Even with a loss to the Blazers, Utah is assured of falling no lower than the No. 5 seed.
Klay Thompson scored 23 points and Kevin Durant added 13 for the Warriors, who finished the season at 58-24. Golden State, the No. 2 seed in the West, never led in the game and shot just 35 percent from the field.
The 40-point loss is the largest margin of defeat for the Warriors under coach Steve Kerr.
”We need the competitive spirit,” Kerr said. ”We need the juice. We need the joy, and we haven’t had much of that. So we got to get our minds right.”
Utah dominated on both ends of the court during the first quarter. The Jazz used an 18-3 run to stake out a 24-9 lead. Rubio took a steal in for a layup and Favors scored on a pair of dunks to ignite the run.
Mitchell scored on back-to-back possessions and then followed with a 3-pointer to help push the lead to 33-14. The rookie totaled 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first quarter alone.
Golden State appeared it might rally after Durant scored back-to-back baskets to cut Utah’s lead to 35-22. That’s as close as the Warriors got. Jerebko and Royce O’ Neale combined to score three straight baskets to push the lead to 43-24.
”We got to be better,” Durant said. ”We couldn’t really get a rhythm or a groove out there with the way we go down so early. We started pressing a bit and trying to get it all back at once.”
Utah led by as many as 45 points in the second half. The Jazz took their largest lead at 103-58 when Jerebko buried a pair of 3-pointers and Dante Exum added a dunk to polish off a 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter.
Warriors: Thompson and Durant combined to shoot just 14 of 39 from the field. … Golden State scored a season-low 33 first-half points. … The Warriors fell by an average margin of 29.6 points in three losses to the Jazz this season.
Jazz: Utah scored 25 points off 16 turnovers. … The Jazz had a 19-6 edge on fastbreak points and outscored Golden State 62-38 in the paint.
As the Rookie of the Year debate between Mitchell and Ben Simmons continues to heat up
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, the smack talk is following suit. Mitchell wore a black hoodie into Vivint Smart Home Arena before tipoff on Tuesday that contained the dictionary definition of a rookie on the front.
It offered a lighthearted jab at Simmons’ status as a ”redshirt rookie” after he spent what would have been his original rookie season sidelined with an injury. Adidas approached Mitchell about wearing the hoodie and he went along with the joke.
”We just wanted to all have fun with it,” Mitchell said. ”That’s all it is, having fun and just enjoying it.”
Mitchell reiterated he’s not worried about the award and would rather see Gobert and Snyder earn Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors respectively.
”We need to put things into perspective. When I was a rookie, we only won 23 games. And now some people say winning 58 is kind of a down year. That’s incredible.” -Thompson, on Golden State finishing 58-24 in the regular season.
Warriors: Will learn their first round opponent on Wednesday.
Jazz: They travel to Portland to face the Blazers on Wednesday.
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