MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Ryan allowed one run over six innings and was backed by solo homers from Byron Buxton and Gio Urshela as the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Guardians 3-1 on Sunday.
Ryan (4-2) threw a career-high 103 pitches and struck out five, with his only blemish a fourth inning changeup that José Ramírez hit over the right field fence for his eighth home run of the season. After walking a career-high five batters in his last start, Ryan did not issue a walk to Cleveland.
Buxton, who sat out Saturday's loss, hit his 11th home run of the season in the fifth inning. Despite missing 12 games this season, his 11 home runs are second-most in the majors, trailing only Aaron Judge. Urshela’s fourth-inning home run was his second home run in as many games.
Minnesota leads the American League Central by three games over Cleveland and Chicago.
Guardians starter Triston McKenzie (2-3) allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out four in seven innings.
The Twins struck first, manufacturing a run in the opening frame. Luis Arraez walked and then stole second base before Max Kepler hit a two-out single to right field to bring him home. The Guardians tied the game in the fourth inning with Ramírez’s home run. But the lead didn’t last long.
In the bottom of the inning, Urshela jumped on the first pitch he saw, launching a 386-foot home run into the left field porch, his third of the season.
While the Twins capitalized on their opportunities, the Guardians struggled to capitalize on their chances. Cleveland had a runner reach second base in four separate innings, including in sixth and eighth inning, but could not convert on any of the opportunities.
Reliever Cody Stashak pitched a scoreless seventh inning and Joe Smith and Caleb Thielbar combined to pitch the the eighth. Smith has not allowed a run in 12 1/3 innings this season. Emilio Pagán finished the job with the save in the ninth.
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