MINNEAPOLIS — After his fresh start, Gary Sánchez is fitting in just fine with Minnesota.
The two-time All-Star catcher with the laid-back personality hit his first home run for the Twins that was anything but low key.
Sánchez sent a grand slam into the third deck and Byron Buxton had two of Minnesota’s six home runs as the Twins slugged their way past the Seattle Mariners 10-4 on Sunday for their first victory of the season.
“That’s called teamwork,” Sánchez said through a translator.
Carlos Correa launched his first homer for Minnesota, too. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco also went deep for the Twins, whose first 13 runs of the season came by home run for the longest streak in modern major league history. Sánchez ended that run with an RBI double in the seventh.
“It was a fun day at the office, to be able to get our pitches and be able to drive it,” Correa said. “That’s always a great sign. We know we’re going to hit, right? It was just a matter of time.”
The Twins totaled eight hits over 2-1 and 4-3 defeats on Friday and Saturday.
“Not quite as fun today,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “They’re a good team. They’ve got a heck of a lineup and have certainly got all kinds of power.”
Bailey Ober logged five innings for the win, handed more than enough cushion to withstand a three-run homer in the third by Mitch Haniger.
Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales gave up three homers, just as he did in his first start of 2021, and lasted only two innings. Four of the six runs against Gonzales were unearned, thanks to a two-out fielding error in the first inning by second baseman Adam Frazier.
Gio Urshela had to hop out of the way of the grounder as he hustled from first to second, creating a potential distraction for Frazier as he positioned himself for the ball in the shadow in shallow right field. Then Sánchez, who came to the Twins with Urshela last month in the trade that sent Josh Donaldson to the Yankees, crushed a 2-2 changeup from Gonzales an estimated 446 feet into the highest seats above left field for a 5-0 lead.
Sánchez watched the ball soar for a second before tossing his bat and flipping a casual thumbs-up toward his dugout as he started his jog around the bases.
“I hope I see a whole bunch of thumbs-ups from him,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It was something I think he’s been waiting for, too. I think he’s enjoying it here.”
Correa, the headliner acquisition of a bold and busy March in Minnesota’s front office, managed to outdistance Sánchez with a solo shot to the third deck in the sixth.
According to MLB’s Statcast data, Correa’s homer traveled 458 feet with an exit speed off the bat of 113 mph. That was the second-hardest-hit home run of his career on record, a fraction slower than one he hit for Houston six years ago.
It was the first time since Aug. 2, 2019, that the Mariners allowed six home runs in a game, two short of the franchise record. Correa homered for the Astros in that game, too.