MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Conforto doubled to spark a slow-developing sixth-inning rally and hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh for the San Francisco Giants, who rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Tuesday night for their seventh win in eight games.
Giants starter Alex Cobb (4-1) finished seven innings for the third time in four starts this month, deftly working around a two-run home run by Byron Buxton in the first inning and a solo shot by Michael Taylor in the fifth that gave the Twins a 3-0 lead.
The Giants stranded two runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings against Twins starter Sonny Gray, who hit the wall in the sixth by walking J.D. Davis to start. Conforto crushed a double to the left-center gap, Mitch Haniger walked to load the bases and that was all for Gray, the major league ERA leader at 1.82. He threw 105 pitches, two short of his season high.
Jovani Moran got the first two outs, but Patrick Bailey walked to force in the first run. Brock Stewart entered and did the same to pinch-hitter Bryce Johnson.
Then with Jorge López (1-2) on the mound for the seventh, Thairo Estrada led off with a double and trotted home on Conforto’s 10th homer of the season.
Camilo Doval pitched a hitless ninth inning for his 13th save in 14 attempts after a perfect eighth by Scott Alexander, in textbook succession after another stellar turn by Cobb. The right-hander, who’s fourth in baseball in ERA at 2.17, is 4-0 in his last seven starts. The Giants have won six of those games.
The Twins, who have been in first place in the AL Central for 53 of 55 days this season, lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda is expected to start a rehab assignment for a strained right triceps after one more bullpen session later this week. He went on the injured list more than three weeks ago, after his fastball velocity concerningly had fallen off to 88 mph in his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2022 season.
“I’d like to consistently maintain above 90 as far as the number, but it’s more of a feel of my pitches, feeling comfortable on the mound,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “I was feeling kind of off before going on the IL. I guess once that’s corrected, everything should be in line.”
Giants: 1B LaMonte Wade was back in the leadoff spot after jamming his thumb and leaving the game on Monday night. … DH Joc Pederson missed his 10th game in a row with a bruised right hand. Manager Gabe Kapler said a rehab assignment will soon be considered: “His grip strength is getting better.”
Twins: SS Carlos Correa was on the bench with a bruised left heel. LF Trevor Larnach went on the injured list before the game because of pneumonia. RF Max Kepler missed his 10th straight game with a strained left hamstring, and manager Rocco Baldelli indicated he’s not close yet to a return: “He was still feeling some lingering soreness related to this thing, longer than we thought.”
Giants: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (3-3, 3.09 ERA) takes the mound on Wednesday afternoon. He’s winless in his last three starts.
Twins: RHP Joe Ryan (6-1, 2.25 ERA) pitches in the series finale. The San Francisco native has completed at least six innings in all nine starts and allowed a total of five earned runs over his last five turns.