Berriós pitches Twins past Nationals 5-0

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins badly needed their ace back.

Jose Berrios delivered a brilliant outing befitting his two-time All-Star status.

Berrios surrendered only two singles over seven innings in his best start in six weeks, Mitch Garver hit the tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh, and the Twins beat the Washington Nationals 5-0 on Tuesday night in an interleague matchup of teams on postseason tracks.

Minnesota's rotation has been under pressure, with Kyle Gibson weakened by a digestive track disease and Michael Pineda suspended for 60 games because of a positive test for a banned diuretic. Berrios only heightened fan anxiety with an 8.07 ERA over his previous six starts for the American League Central-leading Twins, who took a five-game lead on Cleveland into the night.

''Bad outings are in the past. Today, if you want to call it a new beginning, let's move forward,'' Berrios said through a team interpreter.

The right-hander shut down the Nationals with a machine-like performance that was one big sigh of relief for him and the Twins. Berrios (12-8) struck out four and walked one, his first turn of more than six innings since July 31.

''He was about as sharp as anyone could ever be. He made every pitch he wanted to,'' Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. ''The stuff was excellent. He just looked great from beginning to end.''

Sergio Romo and Trevor May followed with a scoreless inning apiece to hand the Nationals their seventh shutout this season. In the eighth, the Twins padded their lead with a two-run double by Jorge Polanco and a sacrifice fly by Ehire Adrianza, and the Nationals took their sixth loss in eight games.

The sure sign Berrios was back in form was the joke he made when a reporter asked afterward if he'd altered his approach at all to try to snap out of the slump.

''Yes, I changed my underwear,'' he said in English, before explaining in Spanish how he better kept his chest centered through his windup.

Anibal Sanchez was almost as sharp for the Nationals, until the seventh. Eddie Rosario led off with a double, and Garver followed with his 30th homer in 280 at-bats this season. Sanchez (8-8) finished the inning, ending his evening with four hits and one walk allowed along with five strikeouts.

''One mistake, and I paid for it,'' Sanchez said.

The Nationals are 9 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the National League East, in the first wild card spot. Their cushion above the cut shrunk to 3 1/2 games, ahead of Milwaukee. The Chicago Cubs have the second spot.

Sanchez, who was in spring training with the Twins in 2018 before they signed Lance Lynn and let him go, is 8-2 with a 3.61 ERA in his last 18 starts since coming off the injured list for a strained left hamstring. He had his hands full, facing Berrios.

''This guy's unbelievable. The preparation he got every single day for the game is good, and he shows right now how good he is on the mound,'' Sanchez said.

THREE, WITH THIRTY

Joining Max Kepler (36) and Nelson Cruz (35), Garver gave the Twins a trio of 30-home run hitters for the first time since 1987, when they won their first World Series after Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky and Gary Gaetti reached the mark. The Twins have done that two other times in their 59-season history, in 1963 and 1964.

PINEDA APOLOGIZES

Pineda, who spoke to reporters for the first time since his suspension was announced on Friday, said before the game he plans to be at the ballpark as much as he's allowed to support his teammates during the stretch run. Pineda said he took an over-the-counter weight-management medication recommended by a person close to him, not realizing it contained the prohibited substance hydrochlorothiazide. The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Pineda has had elbow and knee trouble over the last few years.

''It's embarrassing. I feel obviously sad, which is why I'm here today in front of you guys because I let myself down, my family, my teammates, especially where we are in the season,'' Pineda said through a team interpreter.

FAMILIAR FACE

Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier was not in the lineup, but he got his due with a pregame ovation from the crowd following a highlight video of his time with the Twins. Drafted in the eighth round in 2009, Dozier played in 955 games for the Twins until being traded at the deadline last year to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit 104 home runs over a three-year span from 2015-17. One of his teammates with the Twins, catcher Kurt Suzuki, is also with the Nationals.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Suzuki was out for the second straight game with right elbow soreness. He's doing strengthening exercises and taking anti-inflammatory medication and could be able to pinch hit soon, Martinez said.

Twins: Kepler had testing done on his left shoulder that showed no damage, but he was on the bench again with 3B Miguel Sano (back), OF Jake Cave (groin) and OF/IF Marwin Gonzalez (oblique) also held back.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (16-6, 3.50 ERA) starts on Wednesday night, with rain in the forecast.

Twins: Martin Perez (10-6, 4.75 ERA) takes the mound for the middle game of the series.

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123456789RHE
WAS79-64
000000000020
MIN89-55
00000023X561
  • W: J. Berrios (12-8)L: A. Sanchez (8-8)
  • HR: MIN - M. Garver (30)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Turner SS40100010.300.357.479.8350.5
A. Eaton RF40000021.284.372.435.807-1.0
A. Rendon 3B20000100.335.417.6281.0441.0
J. Soto LF30000011.295.404.576.980-0.5
H. Kendrick DH30100000.326.376.546.9221.0
A. Cabrera 2B30000001.256.338.433.7710.0
R. Zimmerman 1B30000001.239.301.413.7140.0
Y. Gomes C30000020.215.312.360.672-1.0
V. Robles CF30000000.249.322.426.7480.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    L. Arraez LF41200001.342.409.445.8544.0
    I. Miller CF00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    J. Polanco SS41120001.298.361.485.8465.0
    N. Cruz DH40000022.302.380.6211.001-1.0
    E. Rosario RF31100120.276.299.491.7903.0
    M. Garver C31121110.275.364.6461.0117.5
    E. Adrianza 3B30010010.278.355.424.7800.5
    W. Astudillo 1B30100000.276.301.388.6891.0
    C. Cron 1B10000012.254.315.478.793-0.5
    L. Wade CF-LF30000001.083.476.083.5600.0
    J. Schoop 2B11000100.255.308.479.7883.0
      BATTING
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Eaton, R. Zimmerman (20)
      BATTING
      • 2B - L. Arraez (16), J. Polanco (35), E. Rosario (21)
      • HR - M. Garver (30)
      • SF - E. Adrianza (4)
      • RBI - J. Polanco 2 (72), M. Garver 2 (64), E. Adrianza (22)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - L. Arraez, N. Cruz (25), C. Cron (45), L. Wade
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Schoop-Astudillo)
      • E - J. Berrios
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      A. Sanchez (L, 8-8)7.04221514.041.3214.5
      T. Rainey0.12332104.621.59-6.5
      J. Guerra0.20000104.751.250.5
      PITCHERSIP
      A. Sanchez (L, 8-8)7.0
      T. Rainey0.1
      J. Guerra0.2
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Berrios (W, 12-8)7.02001403.631.2230.0
      S. Romo (H, 13)1.00000103.561.113.5
      T. May1.00000103.041.103.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Berrios (W, 12-8)7.0
      S. Romo (H, 13)1.0
      T. May1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - T. Rainey (6)
      • IBB - T. Rainey (2)
      • HBP - T. Rainey (4)
      • Pitches-Strikes - A. Sanchez 94-61, T. Rainey 21-10, J. Guerra 9-6
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Sanchez 4-12
      • Batters Faced - A. Sanchez 26, T. Rainey 6, J. Guerra 2
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Berrios 94-63, S. Romo 16-11, T. May 14-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Berrios 9-7
      • Batters Faced - J. Berrios 23, S. Romo 3, T. May 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      WAS79-64
      000000000020
      MIN89-55
      00000023X561
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      T. Turner SS40100010.300.357.479.8350.5
      A. Eaton RF40000021.284.372.435.807-1.0
      A. Rendon 3B20000100.335.417.6281.0441.0
      J. Soto LF30000011.295.404.576.980-0.5
      H. Kendrick DH30100000.326.376.546.9221.0
      A. Cabrera 2B30000001.256.338.433.7710.0
      R. Zimmerman 1B30000001.239.301.413.7140.0
      Y. Gomes C30000020.215.312.360.672-1.0
      V. Robles CF30000000.249.322.426.7480.0
      Total280200164-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        L. Arraez LF41200001.342.409.445.8544.0
        I. Miller CF00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
        J. Polanco SS41120001.298.361.485.8465.0
        N. Cruz DH40000022.302.380.6211.001-1.0
        E. Rosario RF31100120.276.299.491.7903.0
        M. Garver C31121110.275.364.6461.0117.5
        E. Adrianza 3B30010010.278.355.424.7800.5
        W. Astudillo 1B30100000.276.301.388.6891.0
        C. Cron 1B10000012.254.315.478.793-0.5
        L. Wade CF-LF30000001.083.476.083.5600.0
        J. Schoop 2B11000100.255.308.479.7883.0
        Total295651377-----
          BATTING
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Eaton, R. Zimmerman (20)
          BATTING
          • 2B - L. Arraez (16), J. Polanco (35), E. Rosario (21)
          • HR - M. Garver (30)
          • SF - E. Adrianza (4)
          • RBI - J. Polanco 2 (72), M. Garver 2 (64), E. Adrianza (22)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - L. Arraez, N. Cruz (25), C. Cron (45), L. Wade
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Schoop-Astudillo)
          • E - J. Berrios
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          A. Sanchez (L, 8-8)7.04221514.041.3214.5
          T. Rainey0.12332104.621.59-6.5
          J. Guerra0.20000104.751.250.5
          Total8.0655371---
          PITCHERSIP
          A. Sanchez (L, 8-8)7.0
          T. Rainey0.1
          J. Guerra0.2
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Berrios (W, 12-8)7.02001403.631.2230.0
          S. Romo (H, 13)1.00000103.561.113.5
          T. May1.00000103.041.103.5
          Total9.0200160---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Berrios (W, 12-8)7.0
          S. Romo (H, 13)1.0
          T. May1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - T. Rainey (6)
          • IBB - T. Rainey (2)
          • HBP - T. Rainey (4)
          • Pitches-Strikes - A. Sanchez 94-61, T. Rainey 21-10, J. Guerra 9-6
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Sanchez 4-12
          • Batters Faced - A. Sanchez 26, T. Rainey 6, J. Guerra 2
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Berrios 94-63, S. Romo 16-11, T. May 14-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Berrios 9-7
          • Batters Faced - J. Berrios 23, S. Romo 3, T. May 3
          • 8TH INNING
            Adrianza hit sacrifice fly to center, Polanco scored05
            Polanco doubled to deep left, Schoop and Arraez scored04
          • 7TH INNING
            Garver homered to left center, Rosario scored02
          • 9TH INNING
            • Trevor May relieved Sergio Romo
            • Ian Miller in center field
            • V. Robles: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Robles lined out to right
            • Tr. Turner: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Turner flied out to deep center
            • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Eaton struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • C.J. Cron at first base
            • Sergio Romo relieved Jose Berrios
            • A. Cabrera: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Cabrera lined out to second
            • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Ball, Zimmerman popped out to catcher
            • Y. Gomes: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Gomes struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Tanner Rainey relieved Anibal Sanchez
            • J. Schoop: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Schoop hit by pitch
            • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Arraez singled to left, Schoop to second
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Schoop to third, Arraez to second on wild pitch, Foul, Polanco doubled to deep left, Schoop and Arraez scored
            • N. Cruz: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Cruz struck out swinging
            • E. Rosario: Rosario intentionally walked
            • M. Garver: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Garver walked, Polanco to third, Rosario to second
            • Javy Guerra relieved Tanner Rainey
            • E. Adrianza: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Adrianza hit sacrifice fly to center, Polanco scored
            • C. Cron: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
            • End of the 8th (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • A. Rendon: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Rendon walked
            • J. Soto: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Soto grounded into double play second to first, Rendon out at second
            • H. Kendrick: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Kendrick lined out to first
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • E. Rosario: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Rosario doubled to deep right center
            • M. Garver: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Garver homered to left center, Rosario scored
            • E. Adrianza: Adrianza grounded out to second
            • W. Astudillo: Astudillo flied out to deep left
            • L. Wade: Strike looking, Foul, Wade flied out to deep center
            • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • Y. Gomes: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Gomes struck out swinging
            • V. Robles: Foul, Robles grounded bunt out to pitcher
            • Tr. Turner: Strike looking, Turner singled to left
            • A. Eaton: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Eaton grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • J. Schoop: Schoop fouled out to third
            • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Arraez doubled to deep left
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Polanco lined out to left
            • N. Cruz: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Cruz grounded out to second
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • J. Soto: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Soto flied out to left
            • H. Kendrick: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Kendrick singled to right
            • A. Cabrera: Ball, Kendrick to second on Berrios throwing error, Cabrera lined out to center
            • R. Zimmerman: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Zimmerman grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • M. Garver: Garver flied out to right
            • E. Adrianza: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Adrianza struck out swinging
            • W. Astudillo: Strike looking, Foul, Astudillo singled to right center
            • L. Wade: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Wade flied out to deep right
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • Tr. Turner: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Turner struck out swinging
            • A. Eaton: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Eaton struck out looking
            • A. Rendon: Foul, Rendon lined out to third
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Polanco grounded out to second
            • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Cruz struck out looking
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • R. Zimmerman: Strike looking, Strike looking, Zimmerman grounded out to pitcher
            • Y. Gomes: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Gomes flied out to right
            • V. Robles: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Robles grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • W. Astudillo: Astudillo flied out to left
            • L. Wade: Strike looking, Wade lined out to first
            • J. Schoop: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Schoop walked
            • L. Arraez: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Arraez flied out to left
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • J. Soto: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Soto struck out looking
            • H. Kendrick: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Kendrick flied out to deep left
            • A. Cabrera: Ball, Cabrera grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
            • M. Garver: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Garver struck out looking
            • E. Adrianza: Foul, Ball, Adrianza fouled out to left
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • Tr. Turner: Foul, Turner grounded out to second
            • A. Eaton: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Eaton fouled out to third
            • A. Rendon: Ball, Ball, Foul, Rendon grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • An. Sanchez Pitching:
            • L. Arraez: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Arraez grounded out to first
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Polanco flied out to center
            • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Cruz lined out to third
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)