Colon reaches milestone in Twins’ win over D-backs
MINNEAPOLIS -- Bartolo Colon entered Sunday’s game needing a victory to become the 18th player in major league history to record a win against all 30 teams.
The Minnesota Twins’ offense ensured that happen and then overshadowed Colon’s moment.
Eddie Rosario’s grand slam capped a nine-run first inning for Minnesota, and Chris Gimenez was a triple away from the cycle in the Twins’ 12-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Brian Dozier hit his 25th homer and walked three times to help support Colon.
“It means a lot. It means a lot to my career,” the 44-year-old Colon said of accomplishing the feat through an interpreter. “Now I haven’t won in two stadiums, so that’s the next goal.”
Colon (5-10) coasted to his third win in seven starts for Minnesota after the Twins piled on against Arizona’s T.J. McFarland, who was making just his third major league start and first since July 1, 2014.
Colon pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks. He allowed three solo homers for the second straight start and struck out six batters.
Minnesota has won four games in a row and 11 of its last 14. Sunday’s win helped the Twins hold on to one of the wild-card spots in the American League.
“Ever since spring training we’ve been so close-knit as a group that we feel like we’re capable of doing something pretty special here,” Gimenez said. “We’re starting to see some of the signs of what’s to come.”
McFarland (4-5) only got one out in his spot start and surrendered seven runs on five hits and two walks. With Robbie Ray still working his way back from the concussion disabled list, the Diamondbacks turned to McFarland, the five-year veteran reliever who had 32 relief appearances this season.
“I felt great coming in,” McFarland said. “Had my legs, I felt good; just went out and didn’t execute pitches when I needed to.”
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said McFarland was set for about 60 pitches, but the left-hander threw 38 and only retired Rosario, the second hitter of the game.
“We made the best decision we thought possible and it didn’t work out,” Lovullo said. “I‘m not really big on second-guessing. We added up a lot of different components and it made sense to start T.J. It just didn’t work out.”
Byron Buxton, hitting third in the order with Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer out of the lineup, opened the scoring with an RBI single that plated Dozier. Six straight players would reach against McFarland on five hits and a walk. Dozier walked twice in the inning and Rosario followed with his second career grand slam in his second at-bat of the opening frame.
“I think he understands the more he minimizes the better chance he has,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of Rosario, who has hit .429 during a 10-game hitting streak.
In the inning, the Twins had six hits and five players recorded an RBI as they scored nine runs in an inning for the first time since Aug. 22, 2014. It was the third time in team history the Twins scored at least nine runs in the first inning and first since April 27, 1980.
Gimenez, who entered the game hitting .187 this season, led off the fifth with his sixth homer, and Dozier added his solo shot in the inning.
Colon pitched out of trouble in the first two innings, but the home runs started to follow in the fourth. J.D. Martinez and Brandon Drury each hit one in the three-run fourth and Jake Lamb added his 27th of the year in the fifth.
“It wasn’t a great series, no matter how you slice it,” Lovullo said. “We’re a good baseball team, and I know that things are working and trending towards that. I just want to make sure they remember how good they are.”
NOTES: Arizona manager Torey Lovullo was ejected in the seventh inning after Minnesota reliever Ryan Pressly nearly hit Adam Rosales with a pitch, leading to a warning for both benches from home-plate umpire John Tumpane. Twins C Chris Gimenez had been hit by a pitch in the top of the inning. ... Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said 3B Miguel Sano is going to go on the disabled list after an MRI showed a stress reaction in his lower left leg. ... Arizona recalled RHP Jimmie Sherfy from Triple-A Reno before the game. The team had optioned RHP J.J. Hoover and RHP Silvino Bracho to Triple-A after Saturday’s game and recalled RHP Braden Shipley. Sherfy made his major league debut with one scoreless inning and two strikeouts. Shipley was sent back to Triple-A after pitching 5 2/3 innings. ... Twins 1B Mitch Garver had his first major league hit with a single in the second inning.