Newly signed St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Nick Plummer takes to the field before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on June 15, 2015. MLB.com has confirmed that Plummer received a $2.1244 million bonus, which is equivalent to the slot value for the 23rd overall pick. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Mark Reynolds and Yadier Molina hit back- to-back solo homers in the fourth inning to power the St. Louis Cardinals past the Minnesota Twins 3-2 in the opener of four straight interleague games between the teams.
The home runs complemented a bounce-back outing for John Lackey (5-4), who was torched his last time out but went eight strong innings in the club's fourth straight win.
Kurt Suzuki and Brian Dozier both knocked in a run for the Twins, who have lost six of their last seven. Trevor May (4-5) allowed all three runs over his five-inning start.
The game was delayed 20 minutes by rain, and the offense from both sides stayed in the clubhouse early on as the first 15 hitters were all retired.
Randal Grichuk ended the string with a triple to open the third as Byron Buxton made a valiant effort only to crash into the center-field wall trying to make the catch.
Jon Jay followed with a run-scoring bloop single, and Reynolds and Molina took May into the bullpen beyond the left-field wall in the fourth.
Trevor Plouffe, who turned 29 on Monday, doubled in the seventh and scored Minnesota's first run when Suzuki singled through the middle.
The Twins scratched out another run in the eighth when Buxton, the club's top prospect, legged out a stand-up triple for his first big-league hit. Buxton scored without a play at the plate on Dozier's sacrifice fly, but the Twins did not make much noise in the ninth.
After Kevin Siegrist plunked Torii Hunter, Matt Carpenter made a diving stop at third for the final out to secure Siegrist's second save.
The first two installments of the four-game series will be played in St. Louis and the final two at Target Field ... Molina accounted for three of St. Louis' nine hits ... Lackey, after giving up eight earned runs in his last outing at Colorado, was charged with two on five hits ... This was the first meeting between the clubs since 2009, when the Twins won two of three meetings at Busch Stadium.