Royce Lewis hits a grand slam, drives in 6 as the AL Central-leading Twins crush Cleveland 20-6

Minnesota Twins' Royce Lewis celebrates in the dugout after hitting a grand-slam home run in...
Minnesota Twins' Royce Lewis celebrates in the dugout after hitting a grand-slam home run in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 9:11 PM CDT
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Royce Lewis had a grand slam and a career-high six RBIs, and Jorge Polanco and Carlos Correa added solo homers off Lucas Giolito in his Cleveland debut as the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins beat the Guardians 20-6 on Monday night.

Lewis, the rookie third baseman, tied the franchise record with his third grand slam of the season — all in the last eight games — and has four career slams in 56 games in the majors. Three of them have been against Cleveland.

The Twins moved six games ahead of the second-place Guardians with 24 to play, including two more in this series at Progressive Field. They finished with 20 hits, had 12 players score, and established season highs in runs, hits and margin of victory.

Kyle Farmer hit a three-run homer, and Joey Gallo and Matt Wallner each had two-run shots off catcher David Fry, who pitched the final four innings and allowed seven runs and 10 hits. Minnesota led 18-1 in the middle of the seventh.

Giolito (7-12), claimed off waivers from the Angels on Aug. 31, gave up a career high-tying nine runs in three innings. The right-hander is 1-7 with a 7.22 ERA in his last 11 starts, which include outings with the White Sox, Los Angeles and Cleveland.

Minnesota starter Pablo López (10-7) went six innings, allowing one run on an RBI triple by José Ramírez. The right-hander struck out three, putting him eight behind Toronto’s Kevin Gausman (207) for the AL lead.

Lewis went 3 for 4, Polanco was 3 for 3 with three runs and Edouard Julien also scored three runs. Willi Castro played center field and third base before pitching the ninth for the Twins and giving up three runs.

The most lopsided losses in Cleveland history were by 21 runs — 23-2 at Minnesota on June 4, 2002, and 21-0 at Detroit on Sept. 15, 1901.


Guardians manager Terry Francona revealed that Sept. 20 is the target date for RHP Shane Bieber and RHP Triston McKenzie to be activated from the 60-day injured list.

Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young winner, has not pitched since July 9 because of right elbow inflammation, while McKenzie sprained his right elbow on June 10.

Francona said both will face live hitters later this week at Class A Lake County, then begin minor-league rehab assignments. Once Bieber and McKenzie are capable of throwing 85 pitches, they will be activated.


Twins: DH Byron Buxton (right hamstring strain) will remain in Minnesota for treatment after experiencing a flare-up of patellar tendinitis in his right knee while playing in a rehab game for Triple-A St. Paul.

Guardians: RHP Michael Kelly (lower back strain), who has been on the 15-day IL since Aug. 18, made his second rehab appearance with Double-A Akron by throwing a scoreless inning Sunday against Bowie.


Twins RHP Sonny Gray (7-6, 2.92 ERA) takes on Guardians RHP Tanner Bibee (10-3, 3.03 ERA).