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Christian Yelich may end up with best March/April of all time

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Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich enters Monday’s series opener against the Cardinals leading the league with 13 home runs and 31 RBI in 23 games to start the 2019 season. With eight games remaining in the month, it appears that Yelich will end up with the best March/April of all time — depending on which stats you value.

According to Baseball Reference, Yelich is already one of five players to hit at least 13 homers by the end of April, joining Álex Rodríguez (2007), Albert Pujols (2006), Luis González (2001), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1997). Rodríguez and Pujols hit 14 homers, and Rodríguez led the way with 34 RBI. It wouldn’t take much for Yelich to surpass those numbers. Yelich is also top-five in March/April OPS (1.315) behind Larry Walker (1997; 1.449), Barry Bonds (2002; 1.428), Pujols (2006; 1.423), and Cody Bellinger (2019; 1.382).

We should certainly acknowledge Bellinger’s torrid start to the 2019 season as well. He’s sitting on 11 homers and 28 RBI while leading the majors in batting average (.424), slugging percentage (.882), and OPS. He leads the National League in on-base percentage (.500) across 100 trips to the plate. With Yelich and Bellinger, we’re actually looking at two of the best opening months to a season in baseball history.

Yelich will be sad to leave town after Wednesday afternoon’s game in St. Louis. Of his 13 homers, eight have come in seven games against the Cardinals. The Brewers won’t meet up with the Cardinals again until August.

Twins tie team record with 8 homers in 16-7 win over Angels

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop each hit two of Minnesota’s franchise record-tying eight home runs and the Twins hammered Matt Harvey and the Los Angeles Angels 16-7 Thursday.

C.J. Cron homered, doubled twice and singled twice for the Twins. Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario also homered for Minnesota.

It was the third time in franchise history – dating to their days as the Washington Senators – and second time this season Minnesota homered eight times. Before doing it April 20 against Baltimore, the last time it happened was in 1963 against Washington.

Schoop drove in four runs and Sano three as the Twins won six of seven on their road trip that began in Seattle and wound up with their first sweep in Anaheim since 1996. Minnesota, with the best record in the majors, hit 22 homers against the Mariners and the Angels while outscoring them 67-24.

There were a total of 11 home runs in this game, which was originally set for Wednesday but postponed due to unplayable field conditions following a pregame storm.

Angels first baseman Jared Walsh, who made five relief appearances in Triple-A this season, pitched for the first time in the majors. He gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth.

The eight home runs also tied the Angels mark for most allowed. It previously happened in 2005 against Texas and 1996 vs. Oakland.

Four of the seven hits Matt Harvey (2-4) allowed in 2 2/3 innings went over the wall as the right-hander gave up eight runs for the second time this season.

Tommy La Stella hit his first grand slam in the ninth for the Angels, who have dropped four straight. David Fletcher and Brian Goodwin also homered for Los Angeles.

Minnesota broke open the game in the second inning with six runs, which included a three-run shot by Schoop and two-run drive by Polanco. Harvey was chased in the third after solo homers by Cron and Sano.

The Twins hit three home runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 14-2. Sano’s two-run shot and Schoop’s solo homer marked the sixth time the Twins had gone back-to-back this season. Kepler added a two-run drive.

Twins starter Martin Perez (7-1) went five innings and yielded two runs on five hits.

TOUGH DAY

Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun came up twice with the bases loaded but was unable to get a hit. He struck out in the third and grounded into a force out to end the fifth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: DH Nelson Cruz (left wrist sprain) returned to Minneapolis. He is eligible to come off the injured list on Friday but manager Rocco Baldelli said they are still seeing how he is doing swinging during batting practice.

Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (left ankle sprain) saw a foot and ankle specialist Wednesday and expects to remain in a walking boot for at least two weeks. . LHP Andrew Heaney (elbow) had a bullpen session before Thursday’s game and could make his season debut Sunday.

UP NEXT

Twins: Return home and open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. RHP Jose Berrios (6-2, 3.39 ERA) has seven or more strikeouts in his last four starts.

Angels: Conclude their home stand with three games against Texas. RHP Griffin Canning (2-3, 3.80 ERA), who became the second LA starter to go seven innings last Saturday against Kansas City, gets the call on Friday.

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