C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop each hit two home runs and Byron Buxton had a grand slam as part of the Minnesota Twins’ best offensive output of the season, an 18-4 rout of the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Miguel Sano also homered for the Twins, who extended their season-high home run streak to 13 games and moved into a tie with Seattle for the major league home run lead with 87.
Minnesota’s 18 runs were a season high. The Twins have won the first three games of the four-game series, outscoring the Mariners 36-11.
Starter Jose Berrios was looking to rebound after his roughest outing of the season in which he gave up five runs and 12 hits, both season highs, in a loss to the Angels on Monday. Berrios cruised through the first four innings in this one, but wasn’t able to pick up the win. He was pulled in the fifth after giving up four runs and six hits in the inning.
Tyler Duffey (1-0) came on and went 1 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
Wade LeBlanc (2-1), making his first start in more than a month after returning from the injured list, gave up seven runs and seven hits — including a career-wost four home runs.
LeBlanc left his last outing on April 12 with a strained right oblique. Before Saturday’s game, Mariners manager Scott Servais said he hoped LeBlanc would have a “competitive outing” against the Twins, with a pitch limit around 75 pitches. LeBlanc didn’t meet either goal, getting knocked out in the third inning after throwing just 49 pitches.
Minnesota’s offense started the rout in the second inning when Cron hit his first homer, the 100th of his career. Later in the inning, Buxton’s grand slam — the Twins’ first of the year — opened the floodgates.
Buxton and Schoop both tied career highs with five RBIs. Buxton added a run-scoring single to his grand slam, and Schoop had two-run and three-run homers.
Mariners: INF Dylan Moore started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday. Moore has been on the injured list since May 10 with a wrist contusion. … RHP Sam Tuivailala, recovering from a right Achilles rupture, is also with Tacoma for rehab after being transferred from Single-A Modesto. … Servais said RHP Gerson Bautista, who strained his right pectoral muscle in spring training, will also start a rehab assignment at Tacoma soon.
Seattle optioned RHP Matt Festa to Triple-A Tacoma to make room on the roster for LeBlanc.
Luis Arraez made his major league debut for the Twins, entering in the fifth inning as a defensive replacement at shortstop. He doubled in the eighth inning.
Twins: Kyle Gibson (3-1, 4.19 ERA) makes his ninth start in the final game of the four-game series with Seattle.
Mariners: Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.64) has gone at least six innings and given up three runs or fewer in all three of this starts in May.