Twins surpass .500 mark for first time in 2015

Hot-hitting, slick-fielding ballclub has won seven of its past nine games

Twins surpass .500 mark for first time in 2015

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Twins manager Paul Molitor puts it, having a .500 record is just a one-day event.

A team is either below it or above it after playing its next game, so Molitor said it's not something to be celebrated. But the Twins finally crept above .500 on Sunday with a 13-3 win over the White Sox to complete a four-game sweep at Target Field. They now have a winning record of 13-12 after starting out the season 1-6.

So while it's still early in the year, Molitor said he's proud of the way his team has turned it around after its rough start to the year, as the Twins have now won seven of nine and 12 of 18.

"I think everybody is pleased that after what happened in the beginning, we've been able to turn this thing around and win some games," Molitor said. "You have to get greedy when things are going well. You have to try to ride this thing out as long as possible."

The Twins have been doing it with a combination of the offense waking up, the rotation getting the job done and the defense making plays, especially turning double plays.

Pelfrey induces double play

Minnesota used a seven-run third inning, keyed by a grand slam from Trevor Plouffe, to its advantage on Sunday, marking the second time this series the Twins scored seven runs in an inning. The Twins are batting .291/.372/.423 with runners in scoring position this year, including going 7-for-20 in those situations on Sunday.

"I think it's just contagious hitting," Plouffe said. "When we get guys on base, it just puts pressure on the pitcher. We're taking advantage of timely hitting. That's how you win games. Get them on and get them in. So we've been doing that, and it's showed this homestand."

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who had been the club's best starter in the early going, lasted just 3 2/3 innings despite getting staked to the big lead. But it was a rare rough start for the Twins, who have seen their starters go 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA over their last six games.

Minnesota also turned four more double plays, and the club is tied with Detroit for most double plays turned this season.

So this stretch of baseball hardly resembles the way they looked the first week of the season, but Plouffe said the Twins aren't satisfied just being a game over .500.

"We feel good, but we have a lot of work to do," Plouffe said. "It's a really young season. But we've played a tough stretch of baseball against teams in our division. So we feel good, especially coming back from the start we had. To play like we have the last couple weeks shows character."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.