ARLINGTON -- The Twins will appeal the one-game suspension Major League Baseball imposed on third baseman Miguel Sano for his aggressive actions in Saturday's game against the Tigers in Detroit.
Sano and Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd were tossed from the game after Boyd threw a pitch behind Sano. Twins pitcher Justin Haley had previously hit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones in the face with a fastball. Sano took issue with Boyd's pitch, walking toward the mound and pointing at Boyd before Tigers catcher James McCann stepped between Sano and the mound. Sano shoved McCann and the benches cleared.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Levine returns to old stomping grounds
By Dave Sessions
Special to MLB.com |
ARLINGTON -- Sitting in the relatively foreign environs of the visitors' dugout at Globe Life Park, Twins general manager Thad Levine summed up his first trip back to the place he worked for 11 seasons with the Rangers as "emotional."
Levine, 45, worked as assistant GM for the Rangers under GM Jon Daniels from 2005 to 2016.
MINNEAPOLIS -- As a pitch-to-contact sinkerballer, Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson relies on his defense to help him be effective.
But the defense didn't help him on Sunday, and he didn't help himself much either, as he struggled for the fourth straight outing in a 13-4 loss to the Tigers at Target Field. Gibson was hit hard, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings. He's now 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in four starts.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After placing right-hander Justin Haley on the 10-day disabled list and optioning left-hander Adalberto Mejia to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, the Twins recalled first baseman Kennys Vargas and left-handed reliever Buddy Boshers from Rochester on Sunday.
But after Boshers tossed 2 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Kyle Gibson in Sunday's 13-4 loss, he was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester. He surrendered one walk while throwing 30 pitches, and the Twins want another fresh arm for their upcoming series against the Rangers. Lefty Mason Melotakis was a candidate to be called up from Double-A Chattanooga, but instead the Twins placed Ryan O'Rourke (forearm) on the 60-day disabled list on Monday to clear space for right-hander Nick Tepesch, who was called up from Rochester.
Veteran Chris Gimenez is no stranger to the mound. Over the course of a nine-year career and before Sunday, the backup catcher had taken the hill three times, first in 2014 for the Rangers and twice in 2016 for the Indians. So when Twins pitching suffered a tough day during a 13-4 loss to the Tigers on Sunday, skipper Paul Molitor knew that he had a bit of an ace in the hole with Gimenez.
Ryan Pressly was the Twins' sixth pitcher of the game, and after allowing three runs on three hits in the ninth inning, Molitor decided to make the move. He only needed someone to get one more out to end the frame. Enter position player pitching pro Chris Gimenez.
MINNEAPOLIS -- In a feisty game that saw the benches clear in the fifth inning after Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd threw behind Miguel Sano, Nicholas Castellanos homered in the third and came through with a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth to lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Twins on Saturday at Target Field.
"That's not how you draw it up, for sure," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We needed a win and we got it."
MINNEAPOLIS -- The benches cleared for both the Twins and Tigers on Saturday after Detroit left-hander Matthew Boyd threw a 91-mph fastball behind Minnesota first baseman Miguel Sano in the fifth inning of the Tigers' eventual 5-4 win at Target Field. Sano objected and pointed his finger at Boyd, then he shoved catcher James McCann when McCann put his glove in Sano's face as he tried to get between Sano and Boyd.
Sano was immediately ejected after the hard shove of McCann, and both benches cleared, including relievers running in from the outfield bullpens. After a conference at the mound, Boyd was ejected for throwing behind Sano.
MINNEAPOLIS -- One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2017 season for the Twins was how third baseman Miguel Sano and shortstop Jorge Polanco would fare defensively.
Sano was making the move back to third base full time after last year's failed experiment in right field, while Polanco played almost exclusively at second base at Triple-A Rochester in 2016 before playing shortstop for the Twins down the stretch. But both have been pleasant surprises, leading to an overall solid defense for Minnesota, which has helped the pitching staff.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins used a patient approach against Justin Verlander, drawing six walks against the veteran ace, including three as part of a six-run sixth inning capped by a three-run homer from Eddie Rosario in a 6-3 win over the Tigers on Friday night at Target Field.
Verlander, coming off a start in which he gave up nine runs in four innings against the Indians, got through five scoreless frames before it unraveled in the sixth with three straight walks. The six walks he surrendered were the second most in his career, and the most since he walked seven as a rookie in 2006.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Through the first 15 games of the season, the Twins have been a patient team, leading the Majors with 73 walks.
That was certainly evident against Tigers ace Justin Verlander on Friday, as they drew six walks against him, including three straight to open the sixth en route to a six-run inning and a 6-3 win that snapped a four-game losing streak at Target Field. The six walks were the second most in Verlander's career and the most since he was a rookie in 2006.
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Twins holding the No. 1 pick in the 2017 Draft, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey continues to scout top prospects, and he watched the University of Louisville's Brendan McKay pitch on Friday night.
Falvey, who saw Southern California high schooler Hunter Greene strike out 12 batters on April 8, witnessed McKay struggle against Duke, allowing five runs over six innings in Game 1 of a doubleheader. McKay struck out seven but allowed six hits, including a triple and a homer, and walked three.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Bauer threw 6 1/3 solid innings, and Carlos Santana connected on a pair of RBI doubles to lift the Indians to a three-game sweep over the Twins with a 6-2 win on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.
Cleveland trailed by a run heading into the seventh after another strong outing from Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, but rallied for three runs. Carlos Santana tied it with an RBI double off lefty Taylor Rogers, who walked Michael Brantley for the go-ahead run after an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor. The Indians got an insurance run on another bases-loaded walk from Jose Ramirez.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After limiting the Indians to one run over six innings on Thursday, Twins right-hander Ervin Santana was in line to become the first pitcher in the Majors to reach four wins, to go along with his 0.64 ERA.
But the bullpen couldn't hold a one-run lead in the seventh, with three relievers combining to allow three runs in an eventual 6-2 loss at Target Field. Some of it was simply bad luck -- with Yandy Diaz reaching on a comebacker off right-hander Tyler Duffey's leg and Roberto Perez reaching on an infield single that had an exit velocity of 54.3 mph -- but it also came down to execution with Taylor Rogers allowing the game-tying RBI single to Carlos Santana before the Twins walked two runners home after an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left-handed reliever Ryan O'Rourke, who has been on the 10-day disabled list with a strained forearm since March 30, flew to the Twin Cities from Florida to get checked out by a team doctor on Wednesday.
O'Rourke, who was diagnosed with a flexor mass pronator strain on March 21, said everything came back fine, but he's not sure what the next course of action will be. He estimated he threw off flat ground three or four times while rehabbing in Fort Myers, Fla., but has yet to throw off a mound.
MINNEAPOLIS -- It's only been four relief appearances and 8 2/3 scoreless innings, but right-hander Tyler Duffey is showing positive signs about his move to the bullpen.
Duffey, who posted a 6.43 ERA in 26 starts last year, has struck out seven and walked one, while allowing five hits to the 33 batters he's faced. His stuff is also playing up in the bullpen, according to Statcast™, as he's seen his velocity tick up while increasing his spin rates on his fastball and curveball.
Class A Advanced Palm Beach right-hander Junior Fernandez put his tough start to the season behind him in a truly dominant manner on Wednesday night, retiring the first 19 batters he faced en route to tossing eight scoreless innings to pace the Cardinals in a 7-0 shutout of Tampa.
The win was the first of the season for the Cardinals' No. 10 prospect, who allowed one hit and one walk, while striking out six and generating nine ground-ball outs.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Twins fall as Hughes' struggles continue
By Rhett Bollinger and Tyler Mason
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion hit two-run homers, while Francisco Lindor connected on a two-run triple and extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single in the first to help the Indians to an 11-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field.
The offense backed Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin, who went six innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits to get his first win of the year and lower his ERA to 11.68, as he had previously allowed 13 runs in his first 6 1/3 innings.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' outfield defense is one of their major assets this season, but right fielder Max Kepler made a costly error on a routine fly ball from Jose Ramirez in the first inning of Tuesday's 11-4 loss to the Indians, leading to two unearned runs scoring.
With two outs in the first, Ramirez lifted a high fly ball to right off right-hander Phil Hughes, and Kepler camped under it, but it deflected off his glove as he tried to make the catch with one hand. It allowed Michael Brantley to score from second, and Ramirez to reach second with a two-base error. Ramirez later scored on an RBI single from Lonnie Chisenhall, putting the Twins in an early 3-0 hole.
Hall of Famer received heart, kidney from former NFL player Reuland
By Austin Laymance
LOS ANGELES -- Rod Carew has been blessed with new life, thanks to a heart and kidney transplant, and the Hall of Famer has turned his attention to saving the lives of others by raising awareness for heart disease and organ donations.
Carew, 71, was in good spirits and looking healthy on Tuesday morning during a news conference at the Encino Little League Baseball Park. It's been four months since Carew received the organs during a 13-hour operation.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey admitted it was a little strange to have his former organization, the Indians, in town for a four-game series that began Monday night at Target Field.
Falvey, 34, got his start in baseball with the Indians as an intern in 2007 before working his way up to assistant general manager. He was hired by the Twins last offseason after Cleveland made its run to the World Series. Falvey said he mostly misses the people he worked with, but that he has never had any second thoughts or regrets about taking Minnesota's top post in baseball operations.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Monday's game, Twins manager Paul Molitor acknowledged he spent some time with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey to get more information on Cleveland's players, considering Falvey had worked for the Indians since 2007 before getting hired by Minnesota this offseason.
It appeared the Twins had the book on hard-throwing right-hander Danny Salazar early, as six of the club's first eight batters reached safely. But Minnesota mustered only one run the first two innings, allowing Salazar to settle in to claim a 3-1 victory. It was more of the same in the ninth for the Twins, loading the bases against closer Cody Allen with two outs, only for Joe Mauer to fly out to shallow center to end it.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Danny Salazar settled down after scuffling early, and was backed by two RBIs from Michael Brantley, including a solo homer, to lead the Indians to a 3-1 win over the Twins on Monday night at Target Field.
Salazar allowed a combined six baserunners in the first two innings, but escaped trouble, allowing just one run. He went six innings, scattering seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts to get his first win of the year and improve his ERA to 3.57. He finished strong, striking out the side in his final inning.
Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minnesota and covered the Indians on Monday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Wells fans eight, throws seven scoreless
By Mike Rosenbaum
After an impressive spring in big league camp, Andrew Stevenson hasn't skipped a beat to begin the season. On Monday, the Nationals' No. 5 prospect collected a career-high five hits to help lead Double-A Harrisburg past Harford, 16-14, in 13 innings.
Stevenson flew out in his first at-bat, but collected singles in his next two trips to the plate. He would then notch RBI singles in the eighth and ninth innings before doubling in the 12th to finish 5-for-7 and improve his average to .381.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier proved his right knee is just fine, as the Twins second baseman hit his first career inside-the-park homer in the fifth inning of Sunday's 3-1 loss to the White Sox. It was also the first in the Majors this year.
Dozier, who missed Saturday's game with knee soreness, smacked a 1-2 cutter from right-hander James Shields into deep center field, and the ball hit off Jacob May's glove and rolled along the warning track toward right field. Dozier beat the relay throw from shortstop Leury Garcia at home with a head-first slide to mark the second inside-the-park homer in Target Field history. He joined Eduardo Nunez, who had an inside-the-parker for the Twins last year.
By Rhett Bollinger and Patrick Donnelly
MINNEAPOLIS -- Avisail Garcia continued his blistering start to the season, collecting a career-high four hits, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the 10th, to carry the White Sox to a 3-1 win over the Twins on Sunday at Target Field.
The Twins opted to pitch to Garcia with two outs and a runner at third base after reliever Ryan Pressly struck out Jose Abreu. But the decision backfired, as Garcia crushed an 0-1, 98-mph fastball the opposite way to right field for a two-run shot to finish 4-for-5.
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Sunday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Dozier extends Twins' inside-the-park streak
By Chris Landers |
At 59-103, the 2016 season didn't end the way the Twins wanted. But it did end with a bang: specifically, the sonic boom generated by Byron Buxton as he sprinted around the bases for an inside-the-park home run in Minnesota's final game against the White Sox. Buxton went home-to-home in just 14.05 seconds, the fastest time of the year.