Urshela’s 3-run double sends Twins over Red Sox 4-2

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS – Gio Urshela‘s three-run double in the fifth inning pushed Minnesota ahead and four relievers made the lead as the Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.

Urshela punched a 3-2 pitch from John Schreiber into the right-field corner, scoring all three runners who had walked. AL batting leader Luis Arraez had two hits for Minnesota and scored on the double.

Caleb Thielbar (3-2) earned the win in relief of starter Dylan Bundy. Thielbar pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings after Bundy had allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Thielbar, Jhoan Duran, Griffin Jax and Jorge Lopez combined to allow just one baserunner in the final 4 1/3 innings. Lopez finished for his 23rd save, fourth with Minnesota.

The Twins pulled within 1 1/2 games of idle Cleveland in the AL Central.

Brayan Bello (0-4) surrendered three runs in four-plus innings. His day was done after walking Arraez and Correa to start the fifth.

The Red Sox lost for the sixth time in eight games. They started the day seven games back of the final wild-card spot in the AL.

Alex Verdugo and Reese McGuire had RBI doubles against Bundy. In his second game back from the injured list, Trevor Story had three hits and a walk for Boston.

BULLPEN CHANGES

Boston recalled RHP Kaleb Ort from Triple-A Worcester and selected the contract of RHP Zack Kelly from Triple-A. Kelly made his major league debut with a scoreless inning and two strikeouts. The Red Sox designated LHP Austin Davis and RHP Hirokazu Sawamura for assignment.

Minnesota recalled LHP Jovani Moran from Triple-A St. Paul and optioned LHP Devin Smeltzer to Triple-A.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: RHP Tanner Houck (lower back inflammation) is scheduled to throw live batting practice for Worcester on Tuesday. . RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled for a bullpen session Tuesday at Fenway Park. 1B Eric Hosmer (low back inflammation) was scheduled to start swinging a bat Monday, doing soft toss and tee work, and could advance to a rehab game later in the week.

Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco missed his second straight game as he deals with a knee injury. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Polanco’s knee hasn’t shown much improvement. The injury doesn’t bother Polanco running but is an issue when hitting. RHP Tyler Mahle (right shoulder inflammation) has thrown bullpen sessions and is progressing to a return to the rotation later this week. . President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said that Byron Buxton (low-grade right hip strain) is still feeling soreness in his hip and he’ll stay in Minnesota to continue rehab when the team leaves for the next road trip. Falvey said Kenta Maeda (elbow ligament replacement surgery) is unlikely to return this season in an update on several injured players.

UP NEXT

RHP Kutter Crawford (3-5, 5.30 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Red Sox on Tuesday. Minnesota will start RHP Chris Archer (2-7, 4.34). Crawford has allowed 13 earned runs over his last two starts, spanning 8 1/3 innings. Archer gave up five runs in four innings in his last start against Houston.

Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard.

The 30-year-old Yankees slugger drove a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesus Tinoco into the first couple of rows of seats in left field when leading off the second game of New York’s day-night doubleheader.

Maris’ 61 for the Yankees in 1961 had been exceeded six times previously, but all were tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year. Barry Bonds hit an MLB-record 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001, and the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris as holder of the legitimate record.

A Ruthian figure with a smile as outsized as his body, the 6-foot-7 Judge has rocked the major leagues with a series of deep drives that hearken to the sepia tone movie reels of his legendary pinstriped predecessors.

“He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ,” Roger Maris Jr. said Wednesday night after his father’s mark was matched by Judge. “I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”

Judge had homered only once in the past 13 games, and that was when he hit No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. The doubleheader nightcap in Texas was his 55th game in row played since Aug. 5.

After a single in five at-bats in the first game Tuesday, Judge was 3 for 17 with five walks and a hit by pitch since moving past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league record for 34 years. Maris hit his 61st off Boston’s Tracy Stallard at old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1, 1961.

Judge has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the AL with 131 RBIs and began the day trailing Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315.

The home run in his first at-bat put him back to .311, where he had started the day before dropping a point in the opener.

Judge’s accomplishment will cause endless debate.

“To me, the holder of the record for home runs in a season is Roger Maris,” author George Will said earlier this month. “There’s no hint of suspicion that we’re seeing better baseball than better chemistry in the case of Judge. He’s clean. He’s not doing something that forces other players to jeopardize their health.”