Adonis Garcia's second-inning home run proved to be all the Atlanta Braves needed in a 2-0 win in the series opener against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field.
The rematch of the 1991 World Series also pitted the two worst teams in baseball against each other. The two teams lack wins and lack substantial offense, both of which were evidenced throughout the game.
Lucas Harrell rebounded following a pair of rough outings to fire six shutout innings, surrendering just four hits and three walks while striking out four. He improved to 2-2 on the season in five starts for Atlanta.
His opposite number, former Brave Ervin Santana, actually had an easier go of things. It took him just 97 pitches to breeze through the complete nine innings, but took the loss, as he allowed two runs on seven hits. Garcia's homer in the second and Jace Peterson's run-scoring double play groundout in the third accounted for the only two runs on the night for either side.
Both pitchers could find themselves in different uniforms soon, as the August 1 trade deadline fast approaches, and both Atlanta and Minnesota are firmly in "sell" mode, with the two worst records in baseball.
Garcia was the only player in the game with multiple hits, registering a 2-for-4 evening.
Mauricio Cabrera relieved Harrell for the seventh inning, allowing a hit but punching out a pair of Twins. He got Byron Buxton to flail at a nasty slider for one of those. Cabrera's 100+ mile-per-hour fastball is devastating enough on its own, but he's got a slider in the mid-80s and has started throwing a changeup that registers in the low 90s. If he can locate his secondary pitches with any success, he will only get better and better.
Jace Peterson did not receive an RBI for his double play groundout in the third inning, but made a diving catch in left field late in the game. He fully extended near the warning track and made an outstanding grab.
Jim Johnson, another potential trade candidate, hurled an easy ninth inning to record his third save of the year.
The two teams wrap up the brief two-game swing Wednesday night at 8:10 p.m. ET.