Suzuki has 6 RBIs as Twins outslug Phillies

Suzuki has 6 RBIs as Twins outslug Phillies

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kurt Suzuki's season-high four hits and career-high six RBIs, including a two-run homer in the fifth, powered an offensive explosion for the Twins, who set a season-high in runs with their 14-10 victory over the Phillies at Target Field on Tuesday night.

"I feel warm," Suzuki said. "It's not 10 degrees outside and I can feel the bat. It's one of those things -- like they say in baseball, you find that comfort zone and you get a good pitch to hit and you don't miss it."

Every Twins hitter except Eduardo Nunez either scored or drove in at least one run and Phillies starter Aaron Nola was chased after just three innings, during which he allowed eight runs (seven earned). Minnesota added six runs against the Philadelphia bullpen to hold off a four-run Phillies rally in the eighth. Brian Dozier had three hits, including an RBI triple, and two runs scored, while Trevor Plouffe scored two runs and drove in two on a first-inning triple.

"It's unfortunate that you still have to be a little bit uncomfortable after you score 14 runs, but we got out early -- Trevor got a big hit early and Kurt had a big hit early -- but they kept answering," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We built the lead back up a little bit through the middle innings and the bullpen did a nice job."

Peter Bourjos hit his second homer of the season in the second inning, and Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp and Maikel Franco also went deep as the Phillies hit double digits in runs for the first time since April 23. Bourjos and Cody Asche both recorded three-hit games.

"If you would have told me we were going to score [10] runs tonight with Nola pitching I would have been thrilled," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I would have bet money on it."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Six for Suzuki: The Twins' catcher has heated up in the month of June, and took it to a whole different level on Tuesday night with a 4-for-5 game that raised his batting average in the month to .365. He had a two-run double in the third, a two-run homer in the fifth and a two-run double in the eighth to record a career-high six RBIs to surpass his previous career-high of five, which came eight years ago on June 20, 2008.

"He has been surging," Molitor said. "We're seeing a little bit of power and he's getting some hits with runners in scoring position, which is something we've been lacking as a unit. You just hope that some of the guys watch these people that are taking good at-bats in those situations and start to get some results." More >

Suzuki's two-run homer

No, no, no, Nola: Nola's struggles are eye-popping. He has allowed 22 hits, 17 earned runs, seven walks and has struck out 10 in 9 2/3 innings in his last three starts. He has a 15.83 ERA in that stretch, becoming the first Phillies' starter to pitch four or fewer innings and allow four or more runs in three consecutive starts since Gavin Floyd in April 2005.

"I'm an even-keeled guy," Nola said. "If you talk to a guy who has three pretty rough starts, it gets kind of frustrating. It gets frustrating after the third one. I feel like it doesn't matter how even-keeled you are. It definitely is frustrating, but I'm going to try to put this one behind me and try to really focus on the positives." More >

Nola fans Suzuki

Four-mula for success: After seeing Tyler Duffey allow three runs in the top of the third to give the Phillies a 6-4 lead, the struggling Twins' lineup fired back with four more in the bottom half of the frame to retake the lead -- this time, for good. Dozier, Plouffe and Max Kepler hit three straight singles to load the bases with nobody out, and a two-run double from the red-hot Suzuki was followed by a sacrifice fly from Byron Buxton and a run-scoring throwing error by Freddy Galvis.

Twins plate four runs in 1st

Bourjos stays hot: It might surprise Phillies fans, but Peter Bourjos has been the Phillies' hottest hitter for the past couple of weeks. He hit a two-run homer to left field in the second inning to keep things going. He finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

"I was thrilled at the offense," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "A lot of positives to take out of that. Hopefully, the fact that we hit as a team, it'll give us a boost of confidence. We got them and it takes a little pressure off of everybody to feel good going into tomorrow's game." More >

Bourjos' two-run homer

QUOTABLE
"Everybody was convinced that I would have been close, but I wasn't so convinced. I didn't want to make it look like a mockery where you try to go for the cycle and make the last out at third, so I stopped." -- Suzuki, on his eighth-inning double, while needing a triple to complete the cycle

"I was just bragging about him before the game to [Twins broadcaster and Hall of Famer] Bert Blyleven, how his strength is his ability to locate pitches. I looked at the first couple of innings on the monitor -- I came in between innings -- I don't think he hit the mitt more than a couple of times. He was all over the place. He'll get that back. But something is missing right now." -- Mackanin, on Nola

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Suzuki now has 495 career RBIs, giving him sole possession of first place on the all-time RBI list for MLB players born in Hawaii, surpassing Shane Victorino.

Suzuki's two-run double

WHAT'S NEXT
Phillies: Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan (1-6, 6.49 ERA) hopes to get healthy against the Twins. He appeared to be turning a corner earlier this month, allowing six runs in 12 2/3 innings against the Cubs and Nationals. But then he allowed seven runs (four earned runs) in 4 1/3 innings Friday against the D-Backs. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson will make his first career start against the Phillies when he takes the mound for the Twins at 7:10 p.m. CT in the second game of the series on Wednesday night. He is 2-7 with a 6.11 ERA in 10 career Interleague starts but is coming off a quality start against the Yankees in which he allowed three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings, striking out four while walking two.

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Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. He covered the Twins on Tuesday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.