PHOENIX — Jordan Luplow hit a homer twice to assist Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-2 on Friday night.
Luplow’s double homer in the first and a solo shot in the third, bringing his homer total to nine this season in his sixth career two-homer game.
“I’m trying not to swing and fall over, it just happens,” said Luplow, who has hit 43 homers in his career.
Luplow admits it has been difficult this season to see his .169 batting average on the scoreboard early in Friday’s game.
“It’s not where you want it to be, but you just have to hit away and put up good bats,” Luplow said.
Luplow joked that he’d rather see his OPS on the scoreboard – at .782.
“At the most critical time of the game, he ran and the rest of the guys just followed with small balls, base shots and some good clutch shots,” said Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.
Bumgarner (3-6) worked his way through his first three innings, giving up eight hits but limiting the Twins to two runs. The veteran left-hander then allowed just one batter in the next three innings before being relieved and finishing with three strikeouts and a walk in 103 pitches over six innings.
Byron Buxton hit his 19th home run of the season on the second pitch of the game, a 446-foot blast into the back of the left stands for Minnesota. The Twins failed to score later in the inning when Luis Arraez’s deep drive to left center hit the stands with two outs for a ground-rule double and runner Gary Sanchez had to return to third place. Jose Miranda was pulled back to center on a fly, finishing the inning.
Jake Hager had three hits in his first career multi-hit game for Arizona.
The Diamondbacks scored three more in the fourth and another in the fifth against Twins starter Devin Smeltzer (3-1). Arizona was helped by an erratic Minnesota defense, with Smeltzer setting up a bunt from Hager and throwing it away, allowing two runs to score. Later in the inning, a pop fell on the first base side between Smeltzer, catcher Gary Sanchez and first baseman Jose Miranda. Brought to life again, Carson Kelly chose to race in Hager.
“We couldn’t hit the ball harder, but that’s the way it is. None of that matters. We couldn’t find a way today,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
Smeltzer lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed nine hits and seven runs, six earned.
Infielder Buddy Kennedy made his major league debut and scored his first career hit, a single against Smeltzer in the fifth inning. He was 1 for 3 with a walk and scored a run.
Kennedy, 23, was the Diamondbacks’ DH on Friday. He hit .296 with four homers at Triple-A Reno. He replaced OF Jake McCarthy, who was elected to Reno earlier in the week.
Kennedy hails from Millville, New Jersey, the same town as Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout. Kennedy’s grandfather, former Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Don Money, was in attendance at Chase Field Friday.
Gemini: 2B Jorge Polanco (low back strain) has been put on the injured list for the first time in his nine-year major league career. The move backdated to Monday came after Polanco didn’t notice an improvement since he felt something on his first batting Sunday against Tampa Bay.
The twins recalled Alex Kiriloff from St. Paul to replace Polanco. The outfield first baseman hit .385 with 10 homers in 28 games at Triple-A after starting the season with the Twins. He was sent down after a .172 start in 10 games. Baldelli expects Luis Arraez to spend most of his time at second base, with Kiriloff being among those playing first base.
Diamondbacks: 2B Ketel Marte was not on Friday’s lineup and the team was awaiting the results of an MRI scan of his left hamstring. “We’re retiring him for the right reasons,” Lovullo said. “We need him for the whole season.”
Marte was limited to 90 games last season with a hamstring injury.
Dylan Bundy (3-3, 5.87) plays Luke Weaver (1-0, 4.91) in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday.