MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Stevenson scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning when he stole third and continued home on catcher Francisco Álvarez's throwing error, and the Minnesota Twins beat the New York Mets 5-2 on Friday night.
AL Central-leading Minnesota remained 6 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland. The Guardians beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3.
With the score 2-2, Matt Wallner walked against Sean Reid-Foley (0-1), Stevenson pinch ran and Willi Castro singled
With the runners going, Reid-Foley bounced a changeup to Edouard Julien that glanced off Álvarez’s glove and rebounded off the backstop. The catcher fired a throw that bounced past third base and down the left-field line for an error that allowed Stevenson to score from second.
“You don’t know what it’s going to look like when you cut a guy loose on the bases, but when you run like that, and you play aggressively, you can win a game for your team,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Stevenson played his seventh game with Minnesota this year after spending most of the season at Triple-A St. Paul. He already has the go-ahead from his manager to be aggressive on the basepaths.
“I think just having the track record and what the team’s looking for, they need a guy to be aggressive on the base paths whenever I’m out there, so I’m going to try to do that,” Stevenson said.
Royce Lewis added an RBI double and scored on Max Kepler's bloop single off Grant Hartwig.
Caleb Thielbar (3-1) pitched a scoreless seventh in relief of Dallas Keuchel, who allowed two runs and three hits in five innings. Jhoan Duran pitched a hitless ninth for his 25th save in 30 chances.
Minnesota has won four of Keuchel's five starts since he joined the team in early August.
“The way he pitches now, he’s just so smart. He knows how to get hitters out," said Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, also Keuchel's teammate in Houston.
Correa faced the Mets for the first time since his $315 million, 12-year deal with New York fell through in the offseason. His 114.2 mph drive in the fourth was the hardest-hit homer of his big league career.
Mets starter Kodai Senga gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out five to raise his total to 181, moving three ahead of Jerry Koosman for second-most strikeouts by a Mets rookie behind Dwight Gooden's 276.
“I know he was frustrated with his command and just feel early in the game, but he found a way to get through it,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
Senga's four walks were his most since June 10 against Pittsburgh.
“I just flat out missed the zone a lot of time,” Senga said through interpreter Hiro Fujiwara. "I honestly think I was lucky to be able to get out of it with two runs.”
Lewis hit an RBI double in the first, but Francisco Lindor sliced an opposite-field, two-run double to right in the fourth. Correa tied the score in the bottom half with his 18th homer.
Minnesota placed 1B/OF Joey Gallo (bruised left foot) on the 10-day IL and activated 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff from the IL. Kirilloff was 12 for 27 with two home runs and six RBIs in a six-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.
Mets: OF DJ Stewart (back) was still “a little sore” Friday, manager Buck Showalter said, and was not in the lineup but could be ready for Saturday’s game.
Twins: CF Michael A. Taylor (right hamstring strain) took batting practice against teammate Brock Stewart. Taylor also planned to run on the field Friday for the first time since going on the 10-day IL.
Mets: LHP David Peterson (3-7, 5.40 ERA) hasn’t recorded a decision in his last seven starts, but the Mets have won two of the last three times Peterson has taken the mound.
Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-7, 4.73 ERA) has allowed three runs or more in each of his last four starts. His last win was Aug. 5 against Arizona.
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