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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Megan Ryan

Twins clobber six home runs, defeat Seattle 10-4 for first win

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins lost their first two games of the season, scoring a combined four runs off three homers. Plus there was a 16 at-bat dry spell in Saturday's game where the Twins failed to put a runner on base from the end of the second through the seventh inning.

So the main complaint — if there can be a plausible gripe so early in a 162-game season — was that the Twins needed more emphasis on base runners and less importance on big hits.

Well, that theory imploded Sunday as the Twins smashed six homers en route to a 10-4 victory against Seattle at Target Field in front of an announced crowd of 17,018.

Five players joined the home-run haul, with Byron Buxton paving the way. He hit a leadoff homer to start the scoring in a first inning that forced Seattle starter Marco Gonzales to face every Twins batter.

Gary Sanchez was sure he'd hit a walkoff homer in the season opener, so much so that he executed a premature bat flip before the Mariners caught his fly ball at the wall. But he made up for that letdown by hitting a grand slam in the first, the fourth of his career.

Buxton smacked his second leadoff homer the next inning, and combined with his homer in his final at-bat Saturday, he'd tallied three home runs in as many plate appearances.

In the third inning, Seattle reminded everyone there was another team playing this game, first with Adam Frazier's RBI single and then with Mitch Haniger's three-run homer. But the Twins continued with their home run campaign in the bottom of that inning, with Max Kepler's shot.

Jorge Polanco hit a solo shot in the fourth. Carlos Correa put away his first homer for the Twins in the sixth inning, a massive 458 footer with an exit velocity of 113.4 mph.

Sanchez made perhaps the most notable play in the seventh inning, though. He drove in the Twins first run not off a homer with his RBI double to center field.

Twins starting pitcher Bailey Ober went five innings in his season debut, allowing four hits, four earned runs and two walks while striking out four.

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