MINNEAPOLIS — Eddie Rosario hit a two-run home run with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting the Minnesota Twins to a 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night to maintain their cushion for the second AL wild card spot.
After Joe Mauer hit a one-out single off Phil Maton (3-1), Rosario sent a 2-0 pitch soaring into the right-field seats that stayed just inside the foul pole. He raced around the bases to find a mob of teammates waiting for him at the plate in celebration of the team’s fourth walk-off win this season, dumping a bucket of ice on his head after he hit his 23rd homer.
Matt Belisle (2-2) retired all five batters he faced for the Twins, who improved to 15-5 all-time against the Padres.
The Twins took a two-game lead for their spot in the playoffs over the Los Angeles Angels, who played later against the Houston Astros.
Austin Hedges homered for San Diego to tie the game in the eighth inning, but with runners at first and second in the ninth he flied out.
Ervin Santana gave the Twins six scoreless innings, with only three hits and one walk allowed while striking out seven, but manager Paul Molitor pulled him after 93 pitches. Santana has five complete games this season, with 100-plus pitches thrown in 17 of 30 starts.
Trevor Hildenberger, the rookie who has deftly filled a need in the bullpen during the second half since his recall from Triple-A, recorded four outs until Hedges took him deep into the flowers behind the left-centre field wall.
Rosario manufactured Minnesota’s only run against starter Dinelson Lamet with a leadoff double, advancing on a wild pitch and scoring when Hedges threw wildly past third base and into left field for an error.
But the Twins wasted a bunch of later opportunities to put the game away, with leadoff singles in the fourth, sixth and seventh against Lamet that didn’t translate to runs. They had two on with no outs in the fourth, but the biggest whiff was in the seventh. Robbie Grossman grounded into a rare 6-2-3 double play with the bases loaded against Buddy Baumann, before Craig Stammen struck out Brian Dozier.