Originally Published: August 21, 2017 6:01 a.m.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins knew Arizona spot starter T.J. McFarland would be on a pitch count, so they hoped to get into the Diamondbacks’ bullpen early.
After a 52-pitch first inning Sunday, the Twins had a 9-0 lead and McFarland was out of the game.
That was plenty for Bartolo Colon, who became the 18th pitcher in major league history to beat all 30 teams. He led Minnesota to a 12-5 win that completed a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks.
“It means a lot to my career,” the 44-year-old Colon said through a translator. “Now, I haven’t won in two stadiums, so that’s the next goal.”
The Twins gave Colon (5-10) plenty of run support with their third nine-run first inning in team history, which was punctuated by Eddie Rosario’s two-out grand slam on an 0-2 pitch from Braden Shipley. It was Rosario’s second career slam, and his sixth home run in August.
Before Rosario’s homer, the Twins chased McFarland (4-5) — who hadn’t thrown more than 58 pitches in an outing all year — with four run-scoring hits, including a two-run double by Max Kepler. Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Chris Gimenez all had RBI singles in the inning.
“Just inconsistent command with his fastball,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said of McFarland. “Seemed like every time he made a mistake out over the plate, they put the ball in play and had a really good approach.”
Gimenez and Brian Dozier each added a solo homer in the fifth against the Arizona bullpen.
Colon not only had ample run support, but he also got some defensive help from Rosario, who threw out Chris Iannetta at the plate after catching a fly ball in the second inning. Colon was 0-2 in four previous starts against the Diamondbacks, who joined the majors in 1998, a year after Colon’s career began.
Minnesota won its fourth consecutive game overall and eighth straight against National League opponents. Meanwhile, Arizona lost for the fifth time in six games. Before J.D. Martinez and Brandon Drury each hit a solo homer in the fourth, they had allowed 25 unanswered runs in the series.
“Ever since spring training we’ve been so close-knit as a group that we feel like we’re capable of doing something pretty special here,” Gimenez said. “We’re starting to see some of the signs of what’s to come.”
Arizona recalled Shipley and RHP Jimmie Sherfy before the game to replace right-handers J.J. Hoover and Silvino Bracho in the bullpen after Hoover and Bracho pitched Saturday. Shipley threw 5 2/3 innings in relief, and Sherfy made his big league debut with a 1-2-3 seventh.
Twins 3B Miguel Sano will likely be headed to the 10-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his lower left shin, according to manager Paul Molitor. Sano was pulled from Saturday night’s game with soreness and had an MRI on Sunday.
MACPHAIL’S BIG DAY
Former Twins general manager Andy MacPhail became the 30th person inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony. MacPhail was named general manager in 1986, hired Tom Kelly as the club’s full-time manager and oversaw the World Series championship teams of 1987 and 1991. He has since worked for the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies but has yet to duplicate the success he experienced in Minnesota. “Minnesota is always a special chapter in my life,” MacPhail said during his speech, “not to be replicated anywhere.”
LOVULLO FEELING YOUNG
Colon’s 20-year career has overlapped with many managers’ playing careers, including Lovullo’s. The two were briefly teammates in 1998 with the Cleveland Indians, when Colon was a rising star and Lovullo was called up to play six games in August. “Proud to know that there are still some players that are playing in this league that I played with or against,” Lovullo said.
Diamondbacks: Arizona begins a four-game series at the New York Mets on Monday as Taijuan Walker (6-7) gets the start against rookie Robert Gsellman (5-5). The Mets have lost six of seven.
Twins: Minnesota travels to Chicago for a rare five-game series against the White Sox, which begins with a doubleheader Monday. RHPs Tim Melville and Dillon Gee will make their first starts of the year for the Twins.