MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Donaldson homered and drove in two runs in his Target Field debut with Minnesota, Jorge Polanco hit a two-run shot and the Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 in their home opener on Tuesday night.
Homer Bailey (1-0) pitched five innings in his first start for the Twins, allowing a two-run homer to Tyler O’Neill in the fifth. Bailey had a 6-0 lead before that thanks in part to Donaldson, the heralded addition to an already potent lineup who signed a four-year, $92 million contract during the winter.
“It’s going to be challenging for pitchers to come in here. They’re going to have to really be on top of their game to be able to last and to go deep in the game and to have success against us,” said Donaldson, who has two of Minnesota’s nine homers over four games.
Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez (0-1) was pulled after 3 2/3 innings, when the homer by Donaldson ended his night. Polanco’s drive capped a five-run second for the Twins, with Max Kepler delivering an RBI single and Donaldson contributing a sacrifice fly.
“I’m not concerned about Carlos. He didn’t get away with some mistakes, and they made him pay,” said manager Mike Shildt.
Tommy Edman took Trevor May deep in the eighth for the Cardinals, despite 2017 Gold Glove winner Byron Buxton’s well-timed jump from the back of the warning track in center field. The ball simply bounced off the bottom of his mitt and onto the grass berm beyond the wall, prompting an incredulous expression from Buxton as he dropped to his knees in disgust over missing the catch.
“He catches that the majority of the time, so a lucky bounce there, for sure,” Edman said.
Sergio Romo pitched a hitless ninth for a stress-free save, preserving a third victory in four games for the defending AL Central champion Twins. Closer Taylor Rogers has yet to pitch, but manager Rocco Baldelli said his absence was merely circumstantial.