Lewis homers to back sharp outing by Paddack as Twins beat Rockies 5-0

Rockies Twins Baseball
Minnesota Twins' Royce Lewis gestures while running the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Monday in Minneapolis.
Abbie Parr | AP

Royce Lewis homered in the eighth inning to break open the game, and Chris Paddack bounced back from a rough outing with a sharp performance to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 5-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

Lewis, who was injured in the season opener and missed two months with a severe right quad strain, has homered four times in seven games. Lewis took Rockies reliever Nick Mears deep to left for a 435-foot, two-run blast to cap a three-run eighth inning.

“It's impressive, but nothing that would shock you at this point. He’s a very dangerous hitter,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “You feel like every swing, something good could happen for your team."

Christian Vásquez, Carlos Correa and Trevor Larnach each drove in a run for the Twins, who have won two in a row after dropping five straight games.

Paddack (5-3) allowed six hits and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings. He pitched out of trouble in the first inning when Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon singled to lead off the game and eventually ended up at third base. But the Twins right-hander struck out Ryan McMahon to strand Blackmon on third.

“He pitched well. We had the first-inning chance. Double play got us,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “But Paddack pitched well. He's got good stuff.”

Rockies right-hander Dakota Hudson (2-8) took the loss despite allowing just four hits in 6 2/3 innings. One of the two runs he allowed was unearned.

In his previous start, Paddack allowed seven runs in four innings in a loss to the Yankees. While he said he felt like his stuff was good in that outing, New York jumped on him for four first-inning runs before he eventually settled in for a stretch.

The stuff was sharp again Monday, but with better results. He didn't allow a runner past first base after the opening inning and didn't issue a walk.

Paddack exited the game with a standing ovation from the Target Field crowd.

“I just felt like myself out there tonight,” Paddack said. “It was fun.”

Manny Margot scored the game’s first run after doubling to the corner in right and advancing to third on an error by right fielder Hunter Goodman. Margot scored one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Vázquez.

The Twins manufactured another run in the fourth. Lewis reached first base on a force out, advanced to second on Max Kepler's groundout, and scored on Correa’s two-out double.

Trainers room

Rockies catcher Elias Díaz left the game with left calf tightness. Díaz was injured in the top of the first inning when he grounded into a double play. He was examined by team trainers and was replaced behind the plate in the bottom of the first by Jacob Stallings.

Up next

RHP Cal Quantrill (5-4, 3.58 ERA) starts the second game of the series for Colorado, looking to follow his strong outing last time out in a win against St. Louis. Minnesota will recall RHP Louie Varland (0-4, 9.18) from Triple-A St. Paul to start Tuesday's game. Varland has not pitched in the majors since April.