MLB batting leader Arraez hits 1st slam, Twins beat Rays 6-5

MINNEAPOLIS — Big league batting leader Luis Arraez hit his first career grand slam and the Minnesota Twins spoiled Shane Baz’s season debut, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Saturday.

Arraez got at least three hits for the seventh time this season, raising his average to .367. He has three home runs this year, including two in the last three games.

Arraez homered as part of a five-run third inning against Baz (0-1), Tampa Bay’s top pitching prospect who returned after elbow surgery in March. Baz allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings on three hits and three walks.

Trevor Megill (2-1), one of five Twins relievers who each pitched a scoreless inning, worked the fifth. Emilio Pagán earned his eighth save as the Twins took the first two games of the series.

Baz, who made four strong rehab starts with Triple-A Durham, looked crisp early with two perfect innings before running into trouble in the third.

Gilbert Celestino led off with a single and then Baz, the dynamic right-hander, walked the next two hitters ahead of Arraez, whose slam put the Twins ahead 4-3.

Jorge Polanco then walked and came home on Jose Miranda’s double that evaded Kevin Kiermaier in center field.

The big inning, the second time Minnesota had batted around and scored at least five runs in as many games against the Rays, negated Tampa Bay’s quick start against Chi Chi González.

Ji-Man Choi had an RBI single and Yandy Díaz followed with a two-run single in the first.

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