Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ hit home runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game series at Minneapolis.
Robinson Chirinos had an RBI triple for Chicago, which finished with just seven hits while improving to 25-43 on the road this season.
Manuel Rodriguez (3-2) pitched two hitless innings of relief to pick up the win. Rowan Wick struck out two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his first save.
Luis Arraez doubled, scored a run and had two hits for Minnesota, which went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. John Gant (4-9) took the loss despite allowing just two runs on three hits and no walks over five innings. He struck out five.
Chicago, making its first appearance at Target Field since 2015, jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first inning on Schwindel’s seventh home run of the season, a 421-foot drive into the bullpen in center. It was the second straight game in which Schwindel homered.
The Twins tied it in the bottom of the first. Arraez led off with a double off the wall in left-center, advanced to third on a single by Byron Buxton and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jorge Polanco.
The Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the second. Matt Duffy led off with a single and scored two outs later when Chirinos lined a drive over the glove of left fielder Brent Rooker. The ball caromed off the bottom of the wall in left-center and scooted along the warning track before Buxton could retrieve it. Chirinos ended up with his first triple of the season.
Chicago had a chance to blow the game open in the seventh when it loaded the bases with no outs. However, Twins reliever Tyler Duffey came in and struck out Alfonso Rivas, Chirinos and Andrew Romine to get out of the jam.
Happ made it 3-1 in the eighth with his 17th homer of the season, a towering 437-foot drive off Caleb Thielbar into the third deck down the left field line.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth of Michael Hermosillo. Adam Morgan took over on the mound and got Max Kepler to pop out to second baseman Duffy in shallow right, and Duffy then whirled and threw Arraez out at the plate to end the inning.
–Field Level Media