Ryan pitches shutout ball again, Twins beat Guardians 3-0

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – Joe Ryan pitched shutout ball for the second straight outing and become only the second Minnesota starter to reach the eighth inning this season, leading the Twins over the AL-Central leading Cleveland Guardians 3-0 on Sunday.

Jake Cave hit a solo homer in the second off Cody Morris (0-2) and AL batting leader Luis Arraez added a two-run single in the ninth against Enyel De Los Santos. Third-place Minnesota stopped an eight-game losing streak against Cleveland, and the second-place Chicago White Sox moved within 3 1/2 games of the Guardians.

Cleveland had won the first three games of the five-game series, which ends Monday, The third-place Twins trail the Guardians by six games.

“It was kind of like a stopper-type performance from him at a time everyone felt we need someone to go out there and do something just like that,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Ryan (12-8) allowed three hits in 7 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked two in his first start since being pulled after seven hitless innings and 106 pitches against Kansas City. The only prior Minnesota starter to reach the eighth this year was Dylan Bundy on June 18 at Arizona.

“It’s super important to me,” Ryan said of pitching deep. “It’s something we’ve been trying to preach as a staff the whole year. It hasn’t happened as consistently as we would have liked.”

Ryan said he took his usual approach, which is having a no-hitter on his mind from the time he takes the mound.

“I think about it every game until whatever happens happens,” he said. “If it happens on the first pitch, I’m like there goes the no-hitter.”

Center fielder Gilberto Celestino made a running catch near the warning track of Jose Ramirez’s drive to end a threat in the sixth. The Twins’ infield also turned three double plays.

“Celestino’s catch was beyond electric,” Ryan said. “That’s probably the most double plays I’ve had all year.”

Ryan was pulled after Myles Straw‘s two-out single in the eighth. Jovani Moran retired Andres Gimenez on a flyout and Jhoan Duran pitched the ninth for his eighth save. Ramirez drew a one-out walk, but Duran struck out the final two hitters.

The Twins lost both games of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader, including the nightcap that lasted 15 innings.

“Great day at the ballpark, beautiful day out there after a real long day at the ballpark,” Baldelli said. “It’s amazing what a tremendous effort from your starting pitcher and a couple big swings does for putting a good vibe back into things.”

Morris struck out six over six innings in his fourth major league start.

“He filled up the strike zone, better each time out, changeup was effective,” manager Terry Francona said. “As he gets more consistency with that curveball that’s certainly going to help.”

Other than Cave’s home run, Morris’ toughest battle came in the first during a 14-pitch battle with Arraez to begin the game that ended with a line-drive single to right.

RECORD BOOK

Gimenez was hit by a pitch for the 21st time this season, one more than the previous club record set by Ryan Garko in 2007. … Amed Rosario had eight hits Saturday, tying the Cleveland record for most hits in a doubleheader. Rosario had four hits in each game. Nap Lajoie (1910), George Burns (1924) and Earl Averill (1933) also had eight hits in a doubleheader.

ROSTER MOVES

Minnesota selected the contract of RHP Ronny Henriquez from Triple-A St. Paul. He would become the first Twins player who was born in the 2000s to appear in a game. Henriquez was born on June 20, 2000. …RHP Dereck Rodriguez, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings and got the loss in Saturday’s second game, was designated for assignment.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: 2B Nick Gordon was out of the lineup after playing both games Saturday, but walked as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. He was removed from Friday’s game after fouling a ball off his foot and was hit on the arm by a pitch in Saturday’s second game.

Guardians: Francona said RHP Zach Plesac (broken right hand) will go on a minor league rehab assignment or throw a simulated game Tuesday. Plesac has been on the injured list since Aug. 30.

UP NEXT

RHP Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.83 ERA) will start for Minnesota in the series finale. Gray is 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA in three starts against the Guardians this season. RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA) will pitch for Cleveland. Quantrill is 12-0 in 41 games at Progressive Field and has gone 33 straight home starts without a loss.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.