Ryan Jeffers Homer Helps Minnesota Twins Beat Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ryan Jeffers hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Jeffers, batting ninth in the order, hit a run-scoring single in the second and put the Twins ahead 5-4 with a drive off Brock Burke (4-2). Jeffers was 5 for 8 in the series with four RBI and two of his seven homers this season.
“When his offense is there, that's great," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "When the offense isn't there, he does a good job behind the plate. He's a big contributor."
Minnesota got another run in the seventh when with runners at the corners, Matt Bush threw wildly past first for an error while trying to pick off Gilberto Celestino.
Byron Buxton hit his 23rd homer for the Twins, who opened a 4 1/2-game lead over second-place Cleveland in the AL Central and avoided what would have been their first four-game losing streak this season.
Corey Seager homered for the third straight game, an opposite-field, eighth-inning drive to left off Jhoan Duran that glanced off the glove of Celestino, who tried for a leaping catch. The home run, on a 100 mph pitch, was Seager's 19th this season.
Tyler Duffey worked around Jonah Heim's two-out single for his second save in five chances.
Buxton homered in the first, and run-scoring singles by José Miranda and Jeffers built a 3-0 lead in the second.
Good news for a pair of Twins: Representing Minnesota at the All-Star Game will be Buxton and Luis Arraez, who leads the major leagues with a .348 average.
The Minnesota Twins are off Monday and will send RHP Josh Winder (4-2, 3.12) to start Tuesday against visiting Milwaukee, which sends RHP Jason Alexander (2-1, 4.75) to the mound in the opener of a two-game series.
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