(Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
Royce Lewis homered in each of his first two career postseason at-bats and the Minnesota Twins ended an 18-game playoff losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of their American League wild-card series in Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon.
The streak was the longest postseason skid ever for a team in the four major North American sports leagues. Minnesota logged its first win in the postseason since Oct. 5, 2004, against the New York Yankees.
Twins right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-0) limited the Blue Jays to one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three. Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-1) labored through four innings before giving way to the bullpen. He allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, and he fanned five.
Lewis became only the third player in big-league history to homer in the first two playoff at-bats of his career. He joined Evan Longoria, who did so in 2008 with the Tampa Bay Rays, and Gary Gaetti, who accomplished the feat in 1987 with Minnesota.
Rangers 4, Rays 0
Jordan Montgomery tossed seven scoreless innings to lift Texas past Tampa in the opener of a AL wild-card series in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Montgomery (1-0) scattered six hits and struck out five batters without issuing a walk. Corey Seager had an RBI single among his two hits and Evan Carter reached base four times (two hits, two walks) for the Rangers, who took advantage of a franchise playoff-record four errors by Tampa Bay.
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow (0-1) gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits with five walks in five-plus innings. He struck out eight. Randy Arozarena had a double among his two hits for the Rays, are facing a second straight sweep in the wild-card round.
Phillies 4, Marlins 1
Zack Wheeler tossed 6 2/3 strong innings, Alec Bohm hit an RBI double and host Philadelphia defeated Miami in Game 1 of a National League wild-card series.
Bryson Stott and Cristian Pache each added an RBI single while Trea Turner had two hits and two stolen bases for the Phillies. Nick Castellanos also contributed two hits and an RBI.
Wheeler (1-0) gave up five hits and one run with eight strikeouts and no walks. Miami starter Jesus Luzardo (0-1) lasted four innings, allowing eight hits and three runs with five strikeouts and no walks.
Diamondbacks 6, Brewers 3
Arizona tagged Milwaukee ace Corbin Burnes for three home runs in the first four innings and held off the host Brewers to win the opener of an NL wild-card series.
Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte hit back-to-back homers off Burnes (0-1) in the third inning as the Diamondbacks erased a 3-0 deficit. Gabriel Moreno put Arizona in front 4-3 with a leadoff homer in the fourth, a 425-foot shot to left-center.
Six Arizona relievers preserved the victory by combining for 6 1/3 scoreless innings after rookie Brandon Pfaadt allowed three runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. Joe Mantiply (1-0), the first pitcher out of the Diamondbacks' bullpen, got the win, and Paul Sewald handled the ninth for the save.
--Field Level Media