Chris Paddack stellar in Twins’ win over Rockies

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The results may not have been there in his last start — he gave up seven runs to the New York Yankees — but Chris Paddack was adamant that his stuff was.

His velocity had crept up after working on some mechanical tweaks, particularly with his lower half, and Paddack was excited about the changes.

Monday, the stuff was up once again, and this time, the results followed. Paddack took a scoreless outing into the seventh inning in the Twins’ 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies in the series opener at Target Field.

Paddack’s velocity touched 97.6 mph on a first-inning strikeout of Ryan McMahon, a good indicator of what was to come. His fastball velocity averaged 95.2, nearly two mph harder than his average this season.

And the Rockies (23-43) could do little against him all night.

Though his night started by allowing a pair of hits, a double play helped him emerge from the first inning unscored upon. He allowed four more hits — six total — but no baserunner advanced past first base after the first inning.

Paddack was curveball heavy, throwing the pitch that is normally his fourth-most used pitch, more than his slider and changeup. He got five of his 13 swinging strikes on it.

Paddack threw 6⅓ innings before making way for Steven Okert, who retired the final two batters of the seventh. Griffin Jax followed with a dominant, three-strikeout eighth before Minnesota, which had been playing with a lead for much of the night, broke the game open.

The Twins, who scored earlier on Christian Vázquez’s sacrifice fly that followed a Manuel Margot double, and a Carlos Correa RBI double, put up three runs in the eighth.

Vázquez led off with a double and eventually came around to score on a Trevor Larnach sacrifice fly. Just a few batters later, Royce Lewis, in his Target  Field season debut, crushed a curveball left over the heart of the plate to push the game out of reach.

Minnesota Twins’ Royce Lewis gestures while running the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Minnesota Twins’ Manuel Margot slides into third base after hitting a double during the third inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Minneapolis. Margot advanced to third base after a throwing error by Rockies right fielder Hunter Goodman. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

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