MINNEAPOLIS — Trade acquisition Jorge López earned his first save with his new team, newcomer Sandy León drove in two runs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 Wednesday.
Carlos Correa and Gio Urshela added RBIs for the Twins, whose lead in the American League Central starting the day was one game over Cleveland.
Entering to a nice ovation, López, an All-Star acquired Tuesday from Baltimore, earned his 20th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
He needed just six pitches, including a three-pitch strikeout of Eric Haase.
López’s outing came after Minnesota starter Joe Ryan bounced back from a career-worst outing with five mostly solid innings. Michael Fulmer then pitched a scoreless inning in his Twins debut against the team from which he was traded Tuesday, before Caleb Thielbar and Jhoan Duran each tossed a scoreless frame.
Rocked on Saturday in San Diego, allowing 10 earned runs and five home runs in 4 2/3 innings, Ryan (8-4) tied a season high with nine strikeouts — also April 27 vs. Detroit — and allowed five hits as he again dominated the Tigers. In three 2022 starts against Detroit, Ryan is 3-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
But he hit two batters in the fifth before Riley Greene’s RBI single.
Acquired Tuesday from Cleveland, León had two hits, including a two-run double in the second for Minnesota. He had two hits in 15 at-bats for the Guardians this season, spending much of the year in the minors.
A Correa line drive in the sixth nearly hit Byron Buxton near second base but got through as the speedy Buxton raced home.
Harold Castro had three of Detroit's four hits.
Detroit struck out 14 times Wednesday, 41 times in the three-game series, and has whiffed 148 times in 17 games against Minnesota this season.
Making his second straight start after two months in the bullpen, Tyler Alexander (2-5) was the hard-luck loser, allowing two hits and striking out five in five innings. He retired the Twins in order in four of those frames.
Watch more of Minnesota sports:
Watch the latest sports videos - from high school hockey to the Minnesota Vikings and everything in between - in our YouTube playlist: