Pablo Lopez threw six shutout innings en route to his fourth consecutive win and Michael A. Taylor homered to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night in Minneapolis.
Lopez (9-6) allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven while extending his scoreless innings streak to 19. He has allowed one earned run in 25 innings (0.36 ERA) while winning all four of his August starts to go with three walks and 27 strikeouts.
Donovan Solano had two hits and an RBI for Minnesota, which extended its American League Central lead to five games over Cleveland.
Bryan Reynolds went 3-for-5 with an RBI, Endy Rodriguez doubled among his three hits, and Ji Hwan Bae also had two hits for Pittsburgh, which finished 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Andre Jackson (0-1), who was making his second major league start, took the loss. He allowed two runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on Taylor's 16th homer of the season, a 410-foot drive to left-center that drove in Christian Vazquez, who had singled.
The Twins extended their lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Matt Wallner hit a ground-rule double to left-center and Solano singled him home.
Pittsburgh cut it to 3-1 in the seventh when Alika Williams led off with a walk, advanced to third on a double by Bae and scored on a single by Reynolds. Griffin Jax then came in to replace Caleb Thielbar and got out of the jam by getting Ke'Bryan Hayes to pop out, followed by strikeouts of Jack Suwinski and Henry Davis.
Minnesota increased its lead to 5-1 in the seventh on an RBI single by Jorge Polanco, driving in Royce Lewis who had doubled, followed by an RBI double by pinch hitter Kyle Farmer.
—Field Level Media