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Twins miss opportunities early, play shaky defense in loss to Diamondbacks

Six of the seven runs starter Devin Smeltzer allowed were earned in his 4 1/3-inning outing, his rockiest start of his seven this season.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Alek Thomas (right) scores ahead of the tag by Minnesota Twins catcher Gary Sanchez in the fourth inning Friday, June 17, 2022, at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
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PHOENIX — Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner was shaky near the beginning of the game. The Minnesota Twins couldn’t take full advantage. The Twins’ defense was shaky during the middle of the game. The Diamondbacks took full advantage.

Missed opportunities and misplays in the field sent the Twins to a 7-2 loss on Friday night to the Diamondbacks in the series opener at Chase Field.

After Byron Buxton led off the game with his 19th home run of the season, the Twins took up residency on the basepaths during the first three innings. But despite clogging the bases — in addition to Buxton’s home run, the Twins collected seven hits in the first three innings — they only managed to score one other run.

Jose Miranda’s single brought home Gio Urshela in the third inning, tying the game. But in each of the first three innings, the Twins left a pair of runners on base, and Bumgarner would only give up one other hit over the course of the final three innings of his outing, dodging trouble early and cruising late.

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Twins starter Devin Smeltzer was hurt early by the longball — Jordan Luplow tagged him for a two-run shot in the first inning and a solo shot in the third — and later by defense.

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In the fourth inning, with the Twins trailing by just a run, things started to unravel. Smeltzer issued a walk to begin the frame and a single before second baseman Jake Hager laid down a bunt. Smeltzer fielded the ball and took a second to collect himself before rocketing a throw past Miranda at first. Two runs scored on the play.

Later in the inning, Smeltzer, Miranda and catcher Gary Sánchez converged on a foul pop up, which dropped between the latter two. Given another chance, Carson Kelly finished his at-bat with an RBI single.

And an inning later, after Gio Urshela was unable to complete what could have potentially been an inning-ending double play, another run eventually scored. Six of the seven runs Smeltzer allowed were earned in his 4 1/3-inning outing, his rockiest start of his seven this season.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Arizona Diamondbacks
Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, June 17, 2022, at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports

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