Gibson, Sano lead Twins over Orioles

Gibson, Sano lead Twins over Orioles

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson turned in yet another strong start and was backed by top prospect Miguel Sano's first career homer to help lead the Twins to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night at Target Field.

Gibson kept it rolling, giving up two runs over six innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA over his last three starts. His lone mistake was serving up a two-run blast to J.J. Hardy in the fifth with the Twins leading 8-0. He outpitched Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman, who suffered through his worst outing of the year, giving up eight runs (seven earned) over 3 2/3 innings.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. and Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins enlist bulldozer to help support Dozier

Final Vote candidate gets help from teammates before Tuesday's game

Twins enlist bulldozer to help support Dozier

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins ramped up their efforts for Brian Dozier's Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on Tuesday with a campaign utilizing a bulldozer.

A #VoteDozier bulldozer was parked outside Target Field, while Dozier's teammates all wore white T-shirts that read, 'No Bull. #VoteDozier,' during batting practice. Several teammates also posed for photos with the bulldozer before the game, including Trevor May, Casey Fien, J.R. Graham and Miguel Sano.

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

Sano crushes first Major League home run

Top prospect launches two-run shot in first inning against Orioles

Sano crushes first Major League home run

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the way top prospect Miguel Sano has been swinging the bat since being called up by the Twins, it was only a matter of time before he connected on his first Major League homer.

Sano, known for his prodigious power in the Minor Leagues, crushed a two-run homer off Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman in the first inning for his first career blast in the Twins' 8-3 win on Tuesday at Target Field. It also gave Sano a hit in all six games he's played since being called up from Double-A Chattanooga. The ball came off his bat at 108 mph and traveled 396 feet, according to Statcast™ data.

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

After long wait, O'Rourke called up by Twins

After long wait, O'Rourke called up by Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- After pitching in the Minors for six years in the Twins organization, lefty reliever Ryan O'Rourke said his emotions got the best of him when he found out Monday night that was coming up to the big leagues for the first time in his career.

The 27-year-old O'Rourke, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Rochester with fellow lefty Aaron Thompson optioned to Rochester, said it was an emotional moment when manager Mike Quade called him into this office to tell him the news.

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

Milone looks to lock down sweep against O's

Milone looks to lock down sweep against O's

Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano has made his presence felt at the plate since being called up July 2. The power-hitting rookie -- MLB.com's No.9 prospect -- hasn't looked overmatched in his first six games. He has delivered hits in each -- and Tuesday, he crushed his first career home run, a two-run shot to left-center. As the Twins go for the sweep in the series finale on Wednesday, he may get some work in the field.

Sano, who brings a much-needed power bat to the Twins lineup, has served as the team's designated hitter with Trevor Plouffe starting at third. Wednesday's game might be the ideal time for Plouffe to take a day and get Sano some work in the infield

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier makes Final Vote case with walk-off blast

Dozier makes Final Vote case with walk-off blast

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was quite the statement from Twins second baseman Brian Dozier after he was left off the American League roster for the 2015 All-Star Game on July 14 in Cincinnati.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Dozier

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

Rising Star: Dozier's walk-off HR clips Orioles

Rising Star: Dozier's walk-off HR clips Orioles

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier was left off the All-Star Game roster on Monday, but he proved why he's a worthy candidate, crushing a two-run blast in the 10th inning to lift the Twins to a 4-2 walk-off win over the Orioles at Target Field.

Dozier, one of five American League candidates for the Esurance MLB Final Vote, deposited a 2-0 fastball from reliever Tommy Hunter over the left-field fence for his team-leading 17th homer of the year. It gave the Twins their third-walk off win of the season.

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

Perkins to represent Twins on AL All-Star squad

Perkins to represent Twins on AL All-Star squad

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins closer Glen Perkins, who was a perfect 27-for-27 in save opportunities entering Monday, was named an All-Star for the third straight year, while second baseman Brian Dozier was named one of five Esurance MLB Final Vote candidates in the American League.

Perkins has been one of the best closers in the Majors this year, posting a 1.31 ERA with 32 strikeouts, five walks and two homers allowed in 34 1/3 innings. His streak of converting 27 straight saves tied a Twins record along with Joe Nathan. Perkins also joins Nathan and Rick Aguilera as the only Minnesota closers to be named to at least three All-Star Games. Perkins was selected via the players' ballot.

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

Nolasco slated to undergo right ankle surgery

Nolasco slated to undergo right ankle surgery

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco will undergo surgery to repair his right ankle on July 13 and there's no timetable for his return, general manager Terry Ryan said on Monday.

Nolasco has been out since June 1 with a right ankle impingement and the Twins were hopeful he'd be able to avoid surgery. He initially received a cortisone shot in the foot and was later fitted with orthotics, but neither option worked once he tried to throw off a mound.

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

Say A? Hicks channels Mays with amazing catch

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Say A? Hicks channels Mays with amazing catch

Willie Mays made his iconic, over-the-shoulder basket catch nearly 61 years ago. That's more than six decades. That's nearly as old as three Byron Buxtons. That's too long.

So, during Monday's Twins-Orioles game, Aaron Hicks decided to take us back to the good old days:

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Pressly lands on DL; Robinson returns

Righty shelved with lat strain; outfielder activated from family emergency list

Pressly lands on DL; Robinson returns

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins placed right-hander Ryan Pressly on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain and reinstated outfielder Shane Robinson from the family emergency list on Monday.

Pressly sustained the injury in the seventh inning of Saturday's 5-3 win over the Royals. He had an MRI exam on Sunday morning that revealed the lat strain. It was originally announced as a right shoulder strain, but after testing on his shoulder, it was found to be a lat strain. Pressly said there's no timetable for his return.

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

Santana sharp in no-decision despite layoff

Santana sharp in no-decision despite layoff

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Ervin Santana couldn't have been much sharper in his return from his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug, but familiar problems plagued the Twins on Sunday.

Santana went eight innings, giving up two runs on just three hits, but the Twins went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and the bullpen gave up a walk-off RBI double to Eric Hosmer in a 3-2 loss to get saddled with a series split against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

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

Twins drop finale after Santana's solid debut

Twins drop finale after Santana's solid debut

KANSAS CITY -- Slumping first baseman Eric Hosmer ripped an RBI double into the right-field corner with none out in the ninth, giving the Royals a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Sunday afternoon.

It was the Royals' second walk-off win of the four-game series after not having any in 2015. The teams split the four-game set and the Royals remained 4 1/2 games in the AL Central lead.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robinson's daughter has successful surgery

Robinson's daughter has successful surgery

KANSAS CITY -- Twins manager Paul Molitor said outfielder Shane Robinson's daughter, Harper, underwent successful surgery in Boston, but he's still not sure when Robinson will rejoin the team.

Robinson's seven-month old daughter was born with a stomach/esophagus condition that requires multiple surgeries. She suffered a complication on Thursday, but Molitor said the latest operation over the weekend was a success.

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

Bullpen bounces back, picks up Pelfrey's slack

Relievers combine for five scoreless innings to help beat Royals

Bullpen bounces back, picks up Pelfrey's slack

KANSAS CITY -- A night after the bullpen couldn't protect a late one-run lead in a loss to the Royals, the Twins bounced back with the help of five shutout innings from a combination of six relievers in Saturday night's 5-3 win at Kauffman Stadium.

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey left after just four-plus innings, loading the bases with no outs in the fourth and allowing a two-run single to Lorenzo Cain. Lefty Brian Duensing allowed an inherited runner to score on a groundout, but the bullpen threw up zeros from there in a victory that moved Minnesota within 3 1/2 games of first-place Kansas City.

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

Plouffe, Mauer power Twins over Royals

Plouffe, Mauer power Twins over Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Joe Mauer ripped a two-run homer and the Twins' bullpen tossed five scoreless innings to bail out starter Mike Pelfrey as Minnesota topped the Royals, 5-3, on Saturday in front 37,917 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

The Twins have taken two of three so far in the series and pulled within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Royals, who have dropped five of six. Mauer's homer, his fifth this season, came after Brian Dozier singled. The Twins added a third run in the inning on Aaron Hicks' RBI groundout.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Twins getting big midseason boost in Santana

Twins getting big midseason boost in Santana

KANSAS CITY -- The Minnesota Twins have surprised some people with their performance this season. That performance figures to become even better now. On Saturday, Ervin Santana returned to the Twins after an 80-game suspension for his use of a performance-enhancing drug. If Santana pitches to his career norms, he'll be a big help.

The Twins defeated the Royals, 5-3, Saturday night, giving them a 43-38 record and leaving them 3 1/2 games behind Kansas City in the American League Central. At the midpoint of the season, the minimum that can be said about the Twins is that they are in a Wild Card position.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins reinstate Santana from restricted list

Righty will start Sunday's finale vs. Royals

Twins reinstate Santana from restricted list

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins officially reinstated right-hander Ervin Santana from the restricted list on Saturday after he completed his 80-game suspension for his use of a performance-enhancing drug.

Santana, who signed a four-year $55 million contract with Minnesota in the offseason, will make his Twins debut as the starter for Sunday's series finale against the Royals. He met with reporters for the first time since being handed the suspension on April 3, and was mostly upbeat throughout the interview, but wouldn't get into specifics about how or why he tested positive for Stanozolol.

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

Twins move May to bullpen for now

Righty odd-man out with Santana returning to rotation

Twins move May to bullpen for now

KANSAS CITY -- With right-hander Ervin Santana joining the rotation on Sunday after serving his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug, rookie right-hander Trevor May is the odd-man out and will move to the bullpen in the short-term.

May has made steady progress this year, and has a 4.37 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 18 walks in 80 1/3 innings. Advanced statistics such as Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) have also painted him as the club's best starter this season. He's been better of late with a 3.23 ERA since June 1, but he also gave up six runs while recording just one out against the Brewers on June 26.

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

Twins tripped up late in extras loss to Royals

Twins tripped up late in extras loss to Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain scored from third on an infield dribbler off the bat of Jarrod Dyson with one out in the 10th inning as the Royals earned a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Friday night before 38,868 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

Cain led off the 10th with a double and went to third with one out on a wild pitch. Dyson then hit a chopper to first baseman Joe Mauer off pitcher Aaron Thompson. Mauer fired home, but the tag was late as Cain slid in headfirst to give Kansas City its first walk-off win of the season and first since last year's victory over the A's in the American League Wild Card Game.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano delivers Major firsts for Twins' offense

Sano delivers Major firsts for Twins' offense

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins called up top prospect Miguel Sano in hopes he could help jumpstart their struggling offense, and he ended up factoring into both runs scored against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Sano went 2-for-4 with his first career RBI and his first career run, but it wasn't enough in a 3-2 loss in 10 innings. Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, was impressed with what he saw from the 22-year-old rookie.

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

Milone keeps going strong in Twins' rotation

Milone keeps going strong in Twins' rotation

KANSAS CITY -- Tommy Milone continued his impressive stretch since replacing Ricky Nolasco in the Twins' rotation, making the decision on what to do once Ervin Santana returns from his 80-game suspension for PED use on Saturday even more difficult.

Milone gave up just one run over six innings to lower his ERA to 1.95 over his last six starts, but it wasn't enough, as the bullpen couldn't protect a late lead in a 3-2 loss to the Royals in 10 innings on Friday night.

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

Twins option Meyer to Triple-A

Reliever moves to Rochester as E. Santana returns to rotation

Twins option Meyer to Triple-A

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins optioned top pitching prospect Alex Meyer to Triple-A Rochester after Friday's 3-2 loss to the Royals to make room for right-hander Ervin Santana, who returns on Saturday from his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug.

Santana isn't scheduled to start until Sunday, but has to be activated once his suspension is up on Saturday. He's already in Kansas City and will officially rejoin the team before Saturday's game. The Twins have yet to announce whether Santana will replace a starter in the rotation or if they'll go with a six-man rotation heading into the All-Star break.

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

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson continued his mastery of the Royals by humming through eight scoreless innings and allowing just four singles in a 2-0 win on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals lost their fourth straight as the Twins moved 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano logs first MLB hit in debut vs. Royals

Sano logs first MLB hit in debut vs. Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Top prospect Miguel Sano made his long-awaited debut with the Twins on Thursday, serving as the designated hitter and hitting sixth against the Royals.

Sano went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in his debut, reaching on an infield single in the ninth inning off closer Greg Holland for his first Major League hit. Shane Robinson replaced him as a pinch-runner, but Sano's hit led to a run with Eduardo Escobar coming through with an RBI triple to give the Twins some breathing room in a 2-0 win at Kauffman Stadium.

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

Twins rewarded after showing faith in Gibson

Twins rewarded after showing faith in Gibson

KANSAS CITY -- It's evident that Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson has taken a major step forward in his development as a starting pitcher in his second full season in the Majors, and with that has come trust from manager Paul Molitor.

It was clear on Thursday night against the first-place Royals, as Molitor kept Gibson in the game despite running into a jam in the eighth inning. Gibson allowed two runners to reach with one out, but he remained in the game despite being over 100 pitches, and Gibson was able to retire the heart of Kansas City's order to help lift Minnesota to a 2-0 win.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Sano enjoys Major taste of winning most of all

Sano enjoys Major taste of winning most of all

KANSAS CITY -- Before Thursday night's game, Miguel Sano was asked repeatedly what his goal was for his Major League debut.

His answer never really varied by more than a few words. "Try to get a win tonight," Sano said.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins agree with int'l SS Javier on $4M bonus

Twins agree with int'l SS Javier on $4M bonus

The Twins have made a splash on the international market, agreeing to a $4 million deal with Dominican Republic teenage shortstop Wander Javier, according to industry sources.

There are some scouts who believe that Javier, ranked No. 8 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, has the potential to be the best all-around player in the class. There are others who would like to see him display his talents more consistently.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.