CINCINNATI — Jorge Polanco capped a three-run ninth inning with a go-ahead single, helping the Minnesota Twins overcome Hunter Greene’s 14 strikeouts to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 Wednesday.
The Twins (81-72) trimmed their magic number to clinch the AL Central to two games.
With Minnesota trailing 3-2, Willi Castro singled leading off the ninth against Reds closer Alexis Díaz (9-5), then stole second and took third on catcher Luke Maile’s throwing error. Kyle Farmer followed with a tying single.
Polanco followed with a bases-loaded, two-out single off Sam Moll a few batters later that scored Farmer and Christian Vázquez. Griffin Jax pitched the bottom of the inning for his third save.
Greene allowed one run – Castro’s second home run in two days in the seventh – and three hits with one walk over seven innings. Greene improved to 3-0 over his last five starts. Ian Gibaut allowed a run on three hits in the eighth, setting the stage for Minnesota’s ninth-inning rally.
Jhoan Duran (3-6) allowed a walk with two strikeouts to get the win.
Cincinnati (79-75) went into the game fifth in the NL wild-card race with nine to play, a half-game behind fourth-place Miami and one game behind the Cubs for the third and final wild-card slot. The Marlins and Chicago both played Wednesday night.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand homered and Will Benson tripled and scored twice to help the Reds take a 3-1 lead into the eighth.
Minnesota starter Bailey Ober allowed three hits and two runs with three walks and three strikeouts over five innings.
Twins: INF Carlos Correa (plantar fasciitis in left foot) was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Tuesday.
Reds: INF Jonathan India was hit in the left shoulder by a pitch in the third inning. He stayed in the game and even lightly skipped to first base.
Twins: RHP Pablo López (10-8, 3.58 ERA, 221 strikeouts) is the scheduled starter against an Angels’ pitcher to be announced in the opener of a six-game homestand Friday night.
Reds: LHP Andrew Abbott (8-5, 3.68, 112 strikeouts) is due to start against Pittsburgh on Friday night in the opener of Cincinnati’s final home series of the season.