ST. LOUIS -- Fernando Romero is making quite a first impression for the Twins.Romero followed up his solid Major League debut with six scoreless innings as Minnesota won a season-high fourth straight game -- 6-0 over the Cardinals on Monday night at Busch Stadium."I feel so good competing, trying to
ST. LOUIS -- Fernando Romero is making quite a first impression for the Twins.
Romero followed up his solid Major League debut with six scoreless innings as Minnesota won a season-high fourth straight game -- 6-0 over the Cardinals on Monday night at Busch Stadium.
"I feel so good competing, trying to keep up the hard work every day and attacking the zone early, that's the most important thing," Romero said.
Romero (2-0) stranded at least one runner in each of his first five innings, while four of his nine strikeouts were called third strikes. He hasn't given up an earned run in his first 11 1/3 innings in the big leagues.
"He stepped up," manager Paul Molitor said. "It's one of those nights where you walk the leadoff hitter of the game and you kind of wonder after you put some runs up. But he settled in. He kept his focus, used all his pitches, all the things you want to see."
Romero earned the Cardinals' respect.
"We knew he had good stuff, good arm," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But it wasn't just high velocity. It came with movement. He was in the zone more today than some of the other times we'd seen in the Minors. He looked good when he needed to."
Eddie Rosario had a pair of hits and scored a run, and he robbed William Fowler of a two-run homer in the second with a leaping catch at the left-field wall. Rosario has hit safely in eight straight games and in 10 of 11. He has four home runs and 13 RBIs during his hitting streak.
"I thought it was a really good play," Molitor said. "You're not playing at depth with a left-handed hitter up there and he got back on it very well. Tracked it well and he timed it perfectly. That's a huge play especially after we score in the top of the first."
Max Kepler and Rosario each had RBI doubles to give the Twins a 2-0 lead in the first. Robbie Grossman went 3-for-4, scored a run and had a pair of RBIs, while Bobby Wilson doubled and drove in two runs.
"It was good to see Robbie have a good night," Molitor said. "He's been pressing, and he responded with three hits."
Trevor Hildenberger and Matt Magill combined for three scoreless innings of relief for the Twins.
Cardinals starter John Gant (1-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis before the game, gave up four runs on 5 1/3 innings as St. Louis' five-game winning streak came to an end.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
After Paul DeJong's one-out double in the second inning, Kolten Wong followed by slicing one down the left-field line that landed foul by just inches. Had the ball been fair, DeJong would have scored easily. Romero was able to strike out Wong and escape the inning.
"I set my mind right, take a breath, and get ready for the next pitch," Romero said about his mindset with runners on.
The Twins have won 13 of their last 16 Interleague games dating to Aug. 2, 2017.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Fowler, whose walk-off home run on Sunday gave the Cardinals a 4-3 win over the Cubs, drove a Romero fastball the opposite way in the first inning. But Rosario jumped, extending his glove over the wall as he crashed into it.
"I don't rob this homer, the game's 2-2 in the first inning," Rosario said. "It changed everything."
Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 4.10 ERA) will start the series finale against the Cardinals at 12:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Busch Stadium. Odorizzi, who grew up 40 miles east of St. Louis in Breese, Ill., is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three career starts against the Cards, who will counter with righty Carlos Martinez (3-1, 1.40).
Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis.