Right-hander Randy Dobnak pitched six shutout innings, Max Kepler hit a three-run homer and Marwin Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs to lead the visiting Minnesota Twins to their sixth straight victory, 5-2, over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
The Twins improved to 10-2, the best start through 12 games in franchise history.
Dobnak (2-1), who grew up about 20 minutes from PNC Park in South Park, Penn., held Pittsburgh to just three hits and no walks while striking out one. The 25-year-old right hander used his sinker to induce 11 groundouts and lowered his ERA to 0.60 in three starts this season.
Trevor Williams (0-3) was the hard-luck loser for Pittsburgh, which dropped its seventh straight game.
Williams allowed one run on three hits, a walk and a hit batter over seven innings, the first Pirates pitcher to complete at least six innings in a game. He struck out five.
Williams retired 13 in a row starting after a walk to lead off the third inning. The streak ended when he allowed a double to Luis Arraez with two outs in the seventh, but Williams bounced back to strike out Mitch Garver to get out of the jam.
Josh Bell homered, doubled and had three of Pittsburgh's four hits.
Williams nearly had seven shutout innings. Minnesota's only run against him came in the second inning when Gonzalez blooped a two-out single down the left field line that drove in Jake Cave, who reached base when he was hit by a pitch. Gonzalez's hit, which landed on the line, was originally ruled a foul ball, but the call was challenged and changed after the video review.
The Twins then blew the game open with four runs in the ninth. Byron Buxton led off with a double and Garver walked one out later. Gonzalez then singled off reliever Dovydas Neverauskas to drive in Buxton to make it 2-0. One out later, Kepler hammered his fourth home run of the season 397 feet into the bleachers in right.
Bell hit a two-run home run 422-feet to dead center off reliever Jorge Alcala with two out in the bottom of the ninth to break the shutout.
--Field Level Media