December 5, 2022

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Buxton (4 hits) fuels Twins, flirts with cycle

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MINNEAPOLIS — Saturday afternoon marked the return of Byron Buxton. And with him, the return of the Twins’ offense.

Buxton reached base in all five of his plate appearances. He singled in the first inning, doubled in the second and hit a Statcast-projected 407-foot home run in the fourth inning in his first start in center field since being sidelined with a right knee injury on April 15. Buxton was not able to complete the cycle in either of his final two at-bats, getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning and hitting a single in the seventh.

Buxton’s presence immediately injected life into the Twins’ offense, opening the first inning with a single and later scoring on a Jorge Polanco fielder’s choice. Buxton’s second-inning double plated catcher Ryan Jeffers and he scored again on a Luis Arraez single to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.

The Twins broke the game open in the fourth, first with a pair of solo home runs from Jeffers and Buxton, then later on a two-run single from Trevor Larnach with the bases loaded. The final two runs came on a pair of RBI singles by Arraez in the fifth inning and seventh. Arraez finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Jeffers was the other offensive notable, going 2-for-3 with a double and a home run.

Twins starter Dylan Bundy continued his string of strong performances to begin the season with five scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed four hits to go with four strikeouts. His ERA stands at 0.59 through three starts. Minnesota’s pitching staff entered the game with the fourth-best ERA (2.73) in the Majors.

The Twins (7-8) will look to complete the three-game series sweep on Sunday.

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