MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Jose Berrios gave the Minnesota Twins what the Arizona Diamondbacks badly needed but didn’t get from Zack Greinke.
Berrios (11-5) threw seven innings for his 11th win to lead the Twins over the Diamondbacks 5-0, keeping Minnesota tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the American League’s second wildcard spot.
The Twins scored five runs in the fourth off Greinke (14-6), who had won four of his previous five starts.
“We did make him work,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I think that’s been a somewhat-recurring theme for our team is that we seemed to be able to get pitch counts up there. With a guy like that, you take advantage.”
Greinke got out of an early bases-loaded jam, but ran into trouble again in the fourth after a costly error by second baseman Daniel Descalso ended a chance for a double play. Max Kepler drove in two runs during the inning, and Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer each had an RBI single.
That was more than enough for Berrios (11-6), who allowed only two hits for the second time this month, and got some solid defensive support to win for the second time in three starts. Berrios combined with reliever Alan Busenitz to retire the last 19 Arizona batters.
“He was great,” Mauer said of Berrios. “Even after we scored those runs there, him coming out the next inning and going 1-2-3 right away, that’s huge.”
Before the game, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo hadn’t yet named his Sunday starter, hoping Greinke could keep the bullpen fresh for the finale as the Diamondbacks look to maintain a hold on their own wildcard position.
Instead, Greinke had his shortest outing this season, allowing seven hits and four walks, while striking out four.
“He’s our No. 1, he’s our ace, and they wore him down and waited for the mistakes, and that was the key,” Lovullo said.
Greinke looked strong early but ran into trouble in the fourth when, with Eddie Rosario on first, Descalso dropped a bouncer in the middle of the base path to allow Eduardo Escobar to reach.
Two batters later, Greinke walked in a run to open the scoring for Minnesota, and the Twins were well on their way to their third straight win.
“To have a good night against a pitcher of Greinke’s caliber is definitely a confidence builder,” Mauer said. “So hopefully we can keep it going, and the guys are playing really well right now.”
Busenitz pitched the eighth and ninth for the Twins and didn’t allow a baserunner.
CUDDY’S HALL CALL
The Twins formally inducted former outfielder Michael Cuddyer into their Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony. Cuddyer played 11 seasons for Minnesota, the team that drafted him ninth overall in the 1997 draft. He’s the 29th member of the club’s Hall of Fame.
“I don’t think big words will do it justice with the feeling that I have right now,” Cuddyer told reporters before the game. “Sitting in the breakfast this morning, and the Hall-of-Fame dinner last night with the guys, I feel like it’s my rookie year all over again where you just sit on the back of the wall, you don’t speak unless spoken to, and you just let those guys tell their stories. It’s a lot of fun.”
Diamondbacks: Relievers Silvino Bracho and J.J. Hoover were both sent to the minors after the game, and RHP Braden Shipley was recalled. Lovullo said another move was likely coming Sunday.
Twins: Molitor said the team plans to call up RHP Tim Melville from Triple-A Rochester to start one game of Monday’s doubleheader at the Chicago White Sox. Right-handed reliever Dillon Gee will be the other starter.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said LHP Robbie Ray will return to the rotation on Thursday against the New York Mets. Ray has been out with a concussion since getting hit in the head by a line drive July 28. “Real excited to have Robbie back,” Lovullo said. “I saw him yesterday during the game for the first time. Just good to see his face again, good to be around him, good to get some feedback from him and he’s really excited.”
Twins: DH Miguel Sano left in the seventh with soreness in his left shin. The team said he’s day-to-day, and Molitor say tests would be run in the morning.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland (4-4) makes his first start of the season, as Arizona tries to avoid a sweep. McFarland enters the game with a 4.14 ERA.
Twins: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-10) makes his sixth start with the Twins since signing with the team last month. Colon is 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts against Arizona.
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