PHOENIX — Buddy Kennedy hit a grand slam for his first big-league homer, Christian Walker added two solo shots and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 on Sunday.
Merrill Kelly (6-4) threw seven effective innings as the D-backs built their lead. The right-hander gave up one run on five hits, striking out five and walking none.
The Diamondbacks took two of three games in the series.
The 23-year-old Kennedy’s grand slam came in just his ninth MLB at-bat. He had a green light on a 3-0 fastball from Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar and didn’t miss, crushing a fastball into the left field seats to give the D-backs a 7-1 lead in the sixth.
Kennedy even got a curtain call from the Chase Field crowd, who chanted his first name until he popped out of the dugout and acknowledged the cheers with a wave.
Kennedy – who played at the same high school as Angels star Mike Trout in Millville, New Jersey – was Arizona’s fifth round pick in the 2017 draft.
Walker connected in the second and fourth innings. The first tied the game at 1 and the second pushed the Diamondbacks ahead 2-1.
Pavin Smith snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a single in the second. He added a solo homer in the fifth that gave Arizona a 3-1 lead.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Luis Arraez came home on Carlos Correa’s double-play grounder. Arraez came into the game with an AL-leading .363 batting average.
Chris Archer (1-3) took the loss for the Twins after giving up two runs in four innings.
Walker had a new look for his two-homer outburst, shaving off his beard in the hours between Saturday night’s game and Sunday.
He already has 18 homers this season and is on pace to easily set his career high. He slugged 29 homers in 2019.
Twins: OF Kyle Garlick (left hamstring) was activated from the injured list. RHP Trevor Megill was placed on the 15-day IL with a right shoulder impingement.
Diamondbacks: OF/C Daulton Varsho was out of the lineup on Sunday, one day after he left Saturday’s game because of a heel contusion. Varsho said on Saturday he’s optimistic that the injury won’t keep him out of the lineup very long.
The Twins have a day off Monday before hosting the Cleveland Guardians for a three-game series beginning Tuesday. RHP Joe Ryan (5-3, 2.81 ERA) is the scheduled starter.
The Diamondbacks start a three-game series on the road against the San Diego Padres on Monday. RHP Zach Davies (2-3, 3.78) is the scheduled starter.
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