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Berrios, big 4th lift Twins in shutout of Snakes

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The bottom of the fourth inning started innocently enough with a single to right, but when it ended nine batters and five runs later, the Twins had firm control of the game as they went on to beat the D-backs for the second straight night, 5-0, on Saturday at Target Field.

Jose Berrios (11-5) was outstanding over seven innings as the right-hander kept the D-backs off balance while allowing two hits and a walk and fanning seven. After allowing a two-out double to A.J. Pollock in the third, Berrios retired the final 13 batters he faced.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The bottom of the fourth inning started innocently enough with a single to right, but when it ended nine batters and five runs later, the Twins had firm control of the game as they went on to beat the D-backs for the second straight night, 5-0, on Saturday at Target Field.

Jose Berrios (11-5) was outstanding over seven innings as the right-hander kept the D-backs off balance while allowing two hits and a walk and fanning seven. After allowing a two-out double to A.J. Pollock in the third, Berrios retired the final 13 batters he faced.

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"To imagine where he is now compared to a year ago, it's just leaps and bounds," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "Tonight was as crisp and clean as you want a guy to be. His velocity was there and he got some really good hitters out."

Berrios avoids early pitfall, twirls 7 scoreless

Video: ARI@MIN: Berrios pitches a gem, shuts out D-backs

By contrast, D-backs starter Zack Greinke (14-6) never looked comfortable on the mound. The right-hander had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just four innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He issued four walks, including one to Jason Castro with the bases loaded in the fourth.

Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer also drove in a run apiece and Max Kepler had a two-run single in the fourth. Mauer collected three hits for the seventh time this season, including his fourth three-hit game this month.

Video: ARI@MIN: Molitor on 5-0 win over D-backs

With the win, the Twins remained tied with the Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot. The D-backs' loss left them still one game behind the Rockies for the top Wild Card spot in the National League and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers.

"I think we're better than we've been playing the past -- it feels like a month and a half at least," Greinke said. "It's been a while where we've played .500 ball or under .500 ball so it'd be nice to start doing better."

Greinke's rough start leads to roster moves

Video: ARI@MIN: Lovullo discusses D-backs' 5-0 loss to Twins

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Missed the tag (and ball): After Eddie Rosario led off the fourth with a single to right, Eduardo Escobar hit a grounder to second baseman Daniel Descalso. Rosario crossed in front of Descalso as he was fielding the ball and when Descalso reached out to tag him, the ball hit off his glove and both runners ended up being safe. Had Descalso somehow been able to off pull the double play, which by no means was an easy play, the Twins might not have scored.

Video: ARI@MIN: Escobar hustles to first on Descalso's error

"I tried to rush it," Descalso said. "I knew that Rosario runs well. I probably tried to tag before I had it. I was trying to turn two. I want to try to get a double play in that situation, but I rushed it a little bit. I'm always going to try to be aggressive and try to turn the double play. I thought I had a chance to. I've got to catch the ball first, and then if I can't tag him, just throw to first and get the out."

Making him work: The Twins stranded the bases loaded in the first without scoring a run, but they still may have set themselves up for success later in the game as a result of their approach. The Twins made Greinke work hard and throw 30 pitches. A high-stress inning like that can pay dividends later by not only tiring a pitcher out, but also in getting a look at his full repertoire.

Video: ARI@MIN: Greinke works out of bases-loaded jam in 1st

"It was another good ballgame tonight," Mauer said. "We loaded the bases there early and didn't get anything, but then we loaded them back up and did. That was nice to see. Guys up and down the lineup were having good at-bats."

SANO EXITS; GARVER MAKES DEBUT
Mitch Garver made his Major League debut in the seventh. Garver pinch-hit for Miguel Sano, who left the game with left shin soreness. In his first big league at-bat, Garver struck out against J.J. Hoover. Garver is the 11th Twin to make his debut this season, which matches a franchise record.

Video: ARI@MIN: Sano has a tough time running out grounder

"[Sano's] got some lower leg soreness, we tried to protect him with the DH role tonight," Molitor said. "Obviously, it is bothering him, you could see how he ran down first base. So we got him out and we are going to get some tests on him [Sunday] morning and see how he feels." More >

WHAT'S NEXT
D-backs: In a "bullpen game" for Arizona, lefty reliever T.J. McFarland will start Sunday's 11:10 a.m. MST series finale. Righty Braden Shipley will be called up and available out of the 'pen.

Twins: Right-hander Bartolo Colon (4-10, 6.70 ERA) will start the series finale at 1:10 p.m. CT. Last time out, Colon was charged with three runs on seven hits in five innings against Cleveland. He is 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts against Arizona.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

Jose Berrios, Zack Greinke