Chris Paddack shines, Royce Lewis homers in Twins 2024 Target Field debut

Royce Lewis made his 2024 Target Field debut Monday night and the Minnesota Twins unveiled their City Connect uniforms earlier in the day.

The Twins started a 10-game home stand with 6 1/3 shutout innings from Chris Paddack, and RBIs from Christian Vazquez and Carlos Correa in a 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies in front of 19,901 fans at Target Field. The Twins improve to 35-31 on the season and are eight games behind the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central Division, but currently hold the No. 3 spot in the AL Wild Card race.

Paddack came into the night 4-3 on the season in 13 starts. He returned late last season from elbow surgery, and has been steady to start the season. Back on May 3 at Boston, Paddack had six shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox. Monday, he exited with one out in the sixth after 93 pitches, 61 for strikes. He was in command after the Rockies’ first two batters Monday night reached.

"I knew my stuff was there, this whole week I just told myself continue to stay on the gas. Everything has been sharp, my velo has been back, my stuff is in a good spot, I’m in a good spot mentally. It’s a long season. It just goes to show tonight, I just felt like myself out there tonight, it was fun," Paddack said. "I was able to get that emotion back that I felt like I haven’t had the last couple starts."

Manuel Margot, Carlos Correa and Lewis provided the offense. Margot doubled to right center in the third, got to third on an error and scored on a Christian Vazquez sacrifice fly. Correa hit a two-out double to right center in the fourth, scoring Lewis.

In his return to Target Field, Lewis was 1-for-4 with two RBI and scored two runs. He waited until the eighth inning to deliver his dramatics, smashing a two-run homer 435 feet into the bullpen in left center to give the Twins a 5-0 lead. He missed all of April and May with a quad injury suffered on Opening Day in Kansas City. He returned last week with a pair of homers at Yankee Stadium, and now has four on the season.

"Can I just say it's good to be home! I had so much fun, I was smiling all day, before the homer even, so that was just the cherry on top," Lewis told Bally Sports North.

"It’s impressive, but nothing that would shock you at this point. He’s a very dangerous hitter, a lot of swings that he takes, they’re on a really good plane and the bat moves really fast," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "You feel like every swing, something good could happen for your team."

The Twins are now 27-1 on the season when leading after seven innings.