MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The San Diego Padres used savvy baserunning and three Minnesota errors to score twice in the seventh inning and beat the Twins 6-1 on Tuesday, giving Michael Wacha his first win in five starts.
Juan Soto had a season-high four hits with two doubles and a walk and Manny Machado tacked on a three-run homer in the ninth for the Padres, who are 18-3 in games when they get three runs or more.
Wacha (3-1) gave up just three hits and one run in six innings, before the Padres put together their strange tiebreaking seventh.
Austin Nola’s sacrifice squeeze bunt scored Ha-Seong Kim with the go-ahead run against Twins reliever Griffin Jax (1-4). Kim reached on an error by first baseman Alex Kirilloff, who fielded the soft grounder and threw high and wide to Jax at the bag, and later stole third.
With two outs, Fernando Tatis Jr. stole second and took third on a wild throw by catcher Christian Vázquez. Then after Jake Cronenworth walked, Vázquez tried to throw behind Tatis and catch him off guard on his retreat to the base. The ball hit Tatis in the back, bounced into left field for the third error of the inning and allowed him to trot home.
The Padres with their superstar lineup haven’t been hitting much, taking a .233 team batting average into the game that ranked 23rd in Major League Baseball, but Soto did his part to get them going. The two-time All-Star left fielder doubled in the fourth inning off Twins starter Louie Varland and scored on Matt Carpenter’s two-out single that bounced sharply in front of second baseman Jorge Polanco and zoomed out of his reach to put the Padres on the board.
Varland had six strikeouts in six innings with one run allowed.
EVEN BIGGER SLUMP
The Twins limped home from a six-game road trip during which they won twice and totaled 28 hits in 58 innings to drop to last in MLB in batting average at .220. Cleveland’s Cal Quantrill held them to one hit in the 2-0 loss Sunday.
The Twins let Wacha off the hook in their fourth inning that started with back-to-back walks by Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff. Jose Miranda, who went 2 for 21 on the road trip, drove in Buxton with a one-out double down the left-field line that third base coach Tommy Watkins decided wasn’t deep enough to wave in Kirilloff. Joey Gallo struck out, and Vázquez grounded out to retire the side.
Gallo’s hitless streak reached 25 straight at-bats until he singled in the seventh, when the Twins had runners at the corners with one out before Steven Wilson entered to strike out Max Kepler and Carlos Correa to prompt boos from the crowd of 16,882 at Target Field.
Padres designated hitter Nelson Cruz caught up before the game with several friends he made during 2½ seasons with the Twins, who traded him shortly before the 2021 deadline to Tampa Bay for Joe Ryan. Cruz posed for a pregame photo with Ryan, who’s now a fixture atop Minnesota’s rotation.
“I’m glad to see him having success,” Cruz said. “If you’re going to get traded you might as well get traded for a good player.”
NOT QUITE READY
Twins infielder Kyle Farmer, who’s been out since he was hit in the face by a pitch on April 12 that required stitches and surgery to reset four teeth, had his follow-up procedure and went through another pregame workout to take another step toward returning, potentially during this series.
Padres: RHP Seth Lugo (3-2, 3.21) pitches on Tuesday night.
Twins: RHP Pablo López (2-2, 3.77 ERA) takes the mound for the middle game of the series.