MINNEAPOLIS -- After a forgettable 2015 season that saw him play in 19 games with the Twins and hit .199 in 79 games at Triple-A Rochester, Oswaldo Arcia had a choice to make. He could continue to believe success was naturally going to come based on his breakout 2014 season that saw him hit 20 homers in 103 games, or he could rededicate himself to becoming a better player.
Arcia chose the latter, spending the offseason working out and getting into better shape at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., and so far the results are paying off. A day after Arcia hit a go-ahead solo homer in the eighth inning against the Angels on Saturday, he delivered a walk-off RBI single off closer Huston Street in the 12th inning to lift the Twins to a 3-2 walk-off win on Sunday to complete a three-game series sweep.
"After the season, I went down to Fort Myers to work for moments like this," Arcia said through translator Carlos Font. "I want to keep helping this team and put [myself] in position to help the team win."
Arcia has been making the most of his limited opportunities this season, recently capitalizing on Byron Buxton being out of the starting lineup with a bruised hand. The 24-year-old Arcia is hitting .294/.368/.471 with three RBIs and five strikeouts in 17 at-bats.
"As a young player, he had a taste of some success up here, but had to endure a very trying 2015 that included a demotion and an unproductive season at Triple-A, so I think he took it upon himself to have a gut check," manager Paul Molitor said. "He's responded with conditioning, work ethic, all those kinds of things. And so he's got a chance here the last few days and he's made the most of his opportunity so far."
Arcia's game-winning hit also went to the opposite field, as he went with a 2-2 changeup and lifted it into the left-field corner just out of the reach of a diving Rafael Ortega. Arcia's go-ahead solo homer on Saturday went to left field as well.
"I've been waiting for the ball to get deeper," Arcia said. "I've been trying to push the ball to the other side. It's something I've been working on and it's showing up."
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who had to watch from the clubhouse after leaving with a strained intercostal muscle, said he was impressed by Arcia going the other way against Street, who had yet to allow a baserunner this season before Arcia.
"Street is a tough guy to do that against," Plouffe said. "That's kind of the approach you have to have. I think if he tries to pull that ball, he rolls it over. Instead, he stayed with it. The last couple days it's been all him."