MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Arizona0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 021
Minnesota0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 x 590
  W: J. Berríos (11-5)   L: Z. Greinke (14-6)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 19, 2017
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 29,456

Diamondbacks look to rebound versus Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton's speed and Miguel Sano's power are keeping the Minnesota Twins in the American League playoff race.

The Arizona Diamondbacks saw the duo's potential on Friday and Zack Greinke will try to keep them down on Saturday as Arizona continues its own chase for a playoff spot.

Buxton had an inside-the-park homer and was a single away from the cycle, while Sano hit two long home runs in Friday's 10-3 Minnesota win in the first game of the interleague series.

Greinke (14-5, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for the Diamondbacks in the second game of the series on Saturday. The Twins will counter with young right-hander Jose Berrios, who is 10-5 with a 4.27 ERA in a strong sophomore season.

Minnesota is hoping to build on Friday's big game, which included a season high-tying six homers, with important signs shown from Buxton and Sano.

"It was really good to see him," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Sano's two homers. "I know he's been working hard, just trying to stay on the ball and recognize pitches better. He's getting walks, I know he's getting close. Tonight, we saw the explosion."

It was Sano's first multi-homer game of the season as he blasted his 27th and 28th home runs of the year. Buxton tied a career high with three hits and extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's hit .464 during the streak. In 17 August games, he's hitting .345.

Once he scored sliding in head-first on his inside-the-park home run, Buxton was fired up and tried to spark the team on the bench.

"Just show a little bit more emotion," Buxton said. "They tell me a lot that I don't show enough emotion. I need to show emotion. So I just tried to do something to get us going."

Combined with a win in the final game of the previous series against Cleveland, Minnesota is feeling good again as it sits in a tie for an American League wild card spot with the Los Angeles Angels losing on Friday.

"Most definitely; we faced a great pitcher today, a good team," Buxton said of beating Arizona and starter Zack Godley. "We went out there and played Twins baseball and had a lot of fun. Went out there and swung the bats and played some good defense behind (Ervin Santana's) solid outing."

Berrios will try to follow Santana's start. The two have been the most consistent starters all season for Minnesota, which has sought improvement beyond the two all season. Berrios dazzled when he was first called up from Triple-A in May, but he's hit a rough patch.

He's allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts. He's 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA during that span.

Berrios is working on two days extra rest. He was originally scheduled to start Thursday against the Cleveland Indians. Wednesday's rainout allowed Minnesota to recall a pitcher to start Thursday and Berrios was pushed behind Santana for Saturday and will be making his first career start against the D-backs.

Greinke has plenty of experience against the Twins. He's 5-8 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games against Minnesota in his career. Greinke has made six starts at Target Field, going 1-3, though he hasn't faced the Twins since April 30, 2014.

The right-hander has been locked in leading the Arizona rotation as the D-backs hold a wild card spot in the National League. Greinke is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his last nine starts.

"I felt like I executed pretty good. I think I made a lot of good pitches," Greinke said after holding the Houston Astros scoreless in 6 2/3 innings in his last start. "I have four pitches that have been good all year instead of two, and I can play with them."

Arizona will look to provide Greinke with more cushion. The D-backs missed chances against Minnesota on Friday, leaving three runners on in the first two innings, despite scoring three runs.

"We scored a few runs and had them on the ropes a couple more times, but (Santana) made some pitches and got out of some messes and eliminated some potential threats," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "We've got to keep building those innings and cashing them in. That's the key right now."

Updated August 19, 2017

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