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Joe Ryan makes quick work of Tigers in Twins’ 5-0 victory

Young right-hander gave up one hit and struck out nine in seven innings

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers (27) celebrates with pitcher Joe Ryan (41) after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jordan Johnson / USA Today Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Ryan became the first Twins pitcher to complete seven innings, and Ryan Jeffers drove in three runs with a home run and double as Minnesota extended its winning streak to six games with a 5-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in front of 11,829 on Wednesday at Target Field.

Ryan (3-1) didn’t allow a hit until Miguel Cabrera’s two-out single in the fourth and never gave up another. He struck out nine and left with a 4-0 lead after throwing 90 pitches. The 25-year-old right-hander was acquired in July in the deal that sent Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays.

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The American Central-leading Twins have won seven of their past nine games. The game was a brisk 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Max Kepler, who drove in three runs with a double and home run in Tuesday’s 5-4 victory, hit solo homers in his first at-bats against Tigers starter Michael Pineda (1-1) to give the Twins a 2-0 lead after four innings. He has hit safely in seven of his past eight games.

The Twins doubled that in the fifth when outfielder Trevor Larnach started the inning with a double to left and catcher Ryan Jeffers followed with a two-run, line-drive home run just over the left-field fence for a 4-0 lead.

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jordan Johnson / USA Today Sports

Pineda, who pitched five scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over the New York Yankees in his first start, was tagged for four earned runs on seven hits. The big right-hander, who pitched the previous three seasons for Minnesota, struck out two.

Larnach started the seventh with a double off left-hander Andrew Chafin and scored when Jeffers laced a line drive over the head of center fielder Aki Baddoo to give the Twins a 5-0 lead.

Joe Smith pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Twins, and Danny Coulombe pitched the ninth to preserve the shutout.

The teams complete their three-game series with a 12:10 p.m. start today at Target Field.

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