Buxton homers twice, Joe Ryan tosses first shutout as Twins beat Red Sox 6-0

Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins hits a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Target Field on June 22, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Buxton is the first player to hit multiple 460+ HRs in the same game.  ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

Byron Buxton is back, Joe Ryan tossed a complete-game shutout and the Minnesota Twins ended a 10-game home stand 5-5 after a 6-0 win over the Boston Red Sox in front of 28,553 fans on Thursday at Target Field.

Two days ago, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said the team had been playing at its lowest level after a 10-4 loss to the Red Sox. Two wins later, the clubhouse is a happy place again as the Twins are back to .500 at 38-38.

"Polar opposites, 180-degree turn. Whatever analogy you can possibly come up with, and the truth is being able to handle both of those is the most important part of our game over the course of a full season. Our guys reacted the right way, that was great baseball from our team," said Baldelli, who was joined postgame by his 2-year-old daughter.

Earlier this week, Buxton was in the middle of an 0-for-24 skid as the Twins were having all kinds of difficulty scoring runs. He’s now got five hits in his last 11 at-bats, with three homers, a double and four RBI.

"That’s baseball, that’s my job to not let that stuff bother me and it didn’t. When you don’t let that stuff bother you and you come over the adversity, that’s what happens," Buxton said.

Buxton launched a pair of home runs Thursday, a 466-foot blast in the first that nearly left the ballpark entirely in left field. His second of the day, in the third inning, went 465 feet to the upper deck in left center. That’s a combined 931 feet of homers for Buxton.

"I would’ve guessed more. The way he hits the ball when he hits it flush, it’s unlike very many people anywhere in the world in this game. The ball explodes off the bat, it’s almost like going to the driving range," Baldelli said.

Correa added a homer as the two stars each went yard in a game for the second time this season, and first time since May 4.

Buxton is the first player in the Statcast Era to hit multiple homers of at least 460 feet in the same game. The last player to do it was Mike Napoli in 2013.

"That was very impressive man. He’s a monster, he’s a beast. It’s good to see him back in his usual form," Correa said.

"It don’t matter, as long as we win. They all count the same so if they go over, they all feel good," Buxton said.

Michael A. Taylor added a two-run double in the second. Royce Lewis had two hits on the day, including a bloop single to left center that scored Kyle Farmer for a 6-0 lead in the fifth. The Twins had 10 hits on the day.

Buxton now leads the Twins with 13 homers, and Correa has 10 on the season.

The bats came alive, but the day belonged to Ryan, who recorded his first career shutout.

He allowed just three hits and striking out nine on 112 pitches, 83 for strikes. It’s the Twins’ first complete-game shutout since Jose Berrios did it at Baltimore in 2018. Ryan improves to 8-4 on the season.

"It was a special day, I said that in the clubhouse to the guys afterwards. That was a lot of fun, Joe Ryan was on point from the start. That performance is one that we’ll remember for a long time. From beginning to end, he did everything to dominate that game," Baldelli said. "There was no way around letting him just go out there and finishing that game."

There was no conversation between Baldelli and Ryan when it came to coming out for the ninth inning, on 98 pitches.

"Every time I go out there, I want to go as deep into the game as I can. That was pretty fun," Ryan said. "Just take advantage of the opportunities. The energy was electric from the time I walked in the clubhouse today. Guys were well-rested and hungry, so that was awesome to see."