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Odorizzi, Escobar lead Twins past Cardinals, 7-1

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Jose Martinez #38 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Jake Odorizzi pitched five strong innings and Eduardo Escobar had a two-run home run as the Minnesota Twins won their season-high fifth straight game with a 7-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

The win caps a two-game series sweep for the Twins, who have won 14 of their last 17 games against National League teams.

Odorizzi (3-2) allowed just two hits and one run, a homer by St. Louis’ Jose Martinez in the first inning. The right-hander combined with three relievers to retire the final 18 batters of the game.

Carlos Martinez (3-2) saw his stretch of six straight starts allowing one or fewer runs end. The right-hander allowed four runs in five innings, with two of the runs unearned on a day when St. Louis matched its season worst with three errors.

The Cardinals had just two hits in the loss and six hits combined in the two games against the Twins. St. Louis has now lost two in a row after a season-best five-game winning streak.

Escobar had two of Minnesota’s 10 hits. Robbie Grossman had a two-run double in the fifth inning.

ROSARIO’S STREAK

Minnesota’s Eddie Rosario extended his hitting streak to nine games with his second-inning single. The outfielder finished 2 for 5 and has now hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games _ batting .396 (21 for 53) during that stretch.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said Gold Glove center fielder Byron Buxton ran the bases before the game and could return as soon as Thursday. Buxton has been out since April 12th with a hairline fracture of his left big toe.

Cardinals: Center fielder Tommy Pham missed a second straight game with a lingering hip abductor injury. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said giving Pham off on Tuesday made sense with Wednesday an off day. The 30-year-old is likely to return to the lineup against San Diego on Thursday.

UP NEXT

Twins: Minnesota has the day off on Wednesday before beginning a four-game series at the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Right-hander Jose Berrios (3-3, 3.98 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Twins. He allowed four or more runs in each of his last three starts.

Cardinals: Miles Mikolas (4-0, 2.70 ERA) starts for St. Louis when it opens a four-game series at San Diego on Thursday. The right-hander threw seven scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs in his last start. He’s struck out 31 and walked only two batters in 40 innings this season.