Max Kepler, Carlos Correa power Twins past Nationals

Max Kepler homered, doubled and scored two runs and Carlos Correa also hit a home run to lead the visiting Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals in the rubber game of their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.

Steven Okert (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Simeon Woods Richardson, who was lifted after allowing just three singles over 4 2/3 scoreless innings. Okert retired all four batters he faced, striking out two. Jhoan Duran picked up his fourth save.

Joey Meneses homered, Ildemaro Vargas doubled and had two hits and Luis Garcia Jr. also had two hits for Washington.

Jake Irvin (2-5), a product of Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minn, who grew up attending Twins games, took the loss in his first career start against his hometown team. Irvin allowed two runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Kepler led off with his fourth home run of the season, a 409-foot drive to right-center field.

Correa made it 2-0 in the sixth when he lined his fourth homer to left.

Washington cut the lead to 2-1 in the seventh. Garcia led off with a single and advanced to third on a double by Vargas. After Joey Gallo struck out, pinch-hitter Keibert Ruiz grounded to first to drive in Garcia and send Vargas to third. Jacob Young followed with a hard grounder up the middle that Correa made a diving stop on before getting up and throwing to first to end the threat.

Minnesota picked up a key insurance run in the ninth against reliever Hunter Harvey when Kepler led off with a double to center and scored on a single by Ryan Jeffers.

Meneses cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth when he led off with his second homer against Duran. Garcia followed with a single and pinch-runner Nasim Nunez was then sacrificed to second by Vargas. But Duran got out of the jam by striking out Gallo and getting Ruiz to ground weakly to second to end the game.

–Field Level Media