Devin Smeltzer mows down Milwaukee in MLB debut, Twins' offense erupts late for border battle win

Eddie Rosario slugged his AL-leading 17th homer of the season.
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Eddie Rosario

Another win for the Twins on a magical night at Target Field as they rallied behind a rookie pitcher with a five-run seventh inning to beat the Brewers 5-3. 

The game was deadlocked 0-0 with Brewers right-hander Zach Davies and Twins rookie left-hander Devin Smeltzer trading zeroes. Davies, who entered the game with the second-lowest ERA (2.43) in the National League, fired six shutout innings but was matched pitch-for-pitch by Smeltzer. 

The 23-year-old cancer survivor, in his MLB debut, needed just 69 pitches to get through six shutout innings. He allowed just three hits and struck out seven. 

Smeltzer wasn't credited with the win, but the Twins' offense erupted for five runs in the seventh inning after Davies was replaced. Here's how the seventh inning unfolded: 

  • Jason Castro singled to center
  • Willians Astudillo reached on fielder's choice, moved to 2nd on an error
  • Max Kepler ripped a 2-run double off the base of the wall in right field
  • With 1 out, C.J. Cron hit an RBI double to right-center field 
  • Eddie Rosario launched a 2-run homer to right field

Kepler, who earlier in the day was named the American League Player of the Week, has 19 hits in his 10-game hitting streak, including seven doubles and four homers. 

Rosario stayed red-hot at the plate with his 17th homer of the season, tying Houston's George Springer for the American League lead. The 27-year-old also leads the AL with 47 RBI. 

Milwaukee didn't go away quietly. The Brewers scored a pair of runs in the eighth and Yasmani Grandal's solo homer into the upper deck in left field in the ninth made it a two-run game, but that's as close as they'd get. 

The victory gives the Twins a split in the two-game series and improves their record to 37-17. The Indians were losing to the Red Sox 3-0 in the sixth inning, and if Cleveland loses the Twins' lead in the AL Central will grow to 11 games. 

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