As bounce backs go, this will do for now. There is still work to be done by the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants on Sunday with an 8-3 victory in front of an announced crowd of 25,285 at Target Field, pushing behind them the season-long, six-game losing streak they rode into this series.
Jake Cave went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run and two-run double, and Carlos Correa, Max Kepler, Jose Miranda and Gio Urshela each hit run-scoring doubles for Minnesota, which begins a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox here on Monday.
“It was good to complete the series today,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Minnesota had 11 hits and went 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position, stranding five, and pulled within 2½ games of first-place Cleveland in the American League Central pending the Guardians’ afternoon game at Seattle.
The Twins broke the game open in the fifth, sending nine batters to the plate; they were a combined 5 for 9 with four RBI doubles. Cave hit a two-run double into right off of left-hander Alex Young to match his career high of four RBIs.
The Twins entered the game on a six-game skid that knocked them four games back in the AL Central, the last three losses were lopsided setbacks in Houston against the AL West-leading Astros.
But the Twins got well against the Giants, who started the series one game under .500 and in the hunt for a National League wild card spot. They outscored San Francisco by a combined 20-5 and on Saturday rallied from a two-run, ninth-inning deficit to win, 3-2, in the 10th.
Making his third start for the Twins this season, and second in the spot of injured right-hander Tyler Mahle (shoulder), Aaron Sanchez was charged with two earned runs on six hits and a walk in 3⅔ innings. He struck out two.
Devin Smeltzer pitched three innings of shutout baseball to earn his first win since June 23, when he started and pitched six innings in a 4-1 victory over Cleveland at Target Field. Smeltzer (5-2) gave up three hits and fanned one.
San Francisco starter Jakob Junis (4-4) was charged with six earned runs on nine hits in 4⅓ innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the third on Lamonte Wade Jr.’s RBI double but the Twins tied it in their half on Correa’s RBI double, which scored Nick Gordon from first. San Francisco took a 2-1 lead when Emilio Pagan, relieving Sanchez with two out and a man on, walked Austin Slater to load the bases, then walked Wilmer Flores to plate Austin Wynns.
Cave’s one-out, two-run home run to right field put the Twins up 3-1 in the bottom of the inning, and the Giants tied it again, 3-3, when Evan Longoria started the fifth with a double off Pagan and scored on Brandon Crawford’s single off Smeltzer.