Sánchez, Gray power Twins past Guardians in series opener

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Sports

CLEVELAND — Sonny Gray turned an emotional, distracting day for the Twins into a dominant one.The right-hander pitched seven superb innings and Gary Sánchez homered and drove in four runs to help Minnesota stretch its lead in the AL Central with an 11-1 blowout of the Cleveland Guardians on Monday night. When they arrived in Cleveland on Sunday night ahead of the five-game series, the first-place Twins were rocked by news that pitching coach Wes Johnson is leaving to take over at LSU. “I’m happy for him. I really am,” manager Rocco Baldelli said before the game. “This is the best move for Wes. I love him and I love everything that he’s done for this organization. We’re all going to miss him.”The decision was felt throughout Minnesota’s clubhouse, but especially among the team’s pitchers.Gray, acquired in March from Cincinnati, had grown close to Johnson and said he doesn’t want him to go.“It’s a tough one,” said the right-hander, who allowed just three singles Monday night. “It’s someone who I became really close with and I think if you know me at all, letting people in and getting into relationships in that respect, I put my guard up a lot.“I was mad at him a lot today. I was happy for him a lot today. I used every emotion and kind of everything that was going through, I kind of used it to pour into the game.”Sánchez hit a three-run homer in the second i …

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