Santana looking to regain rookie form at plate

Santana looking to regain rookie form at plate

KANSAS CITY -- It's still too early to call it a sophomore slump, but Twins shortstop Danny Santana has scuffled at the plate after an impressive rookie year.

Santana was one of the club's better players last season, hitting .319/.353/.472 with 41 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases in 101 games. But through his first 10 games this year, the club's leadoff hitter was batting just .195/.195/.220 with one extra-base hit, no walks and one stolen base entering Monday's game against the Royals.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

May tosses gem as Twins heat up on Indians

May tosses gem as Twins heat up on Indians

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor May turned in arguably the best outing of his young career, and was backed by a three-run homer from Torii Hunter to give the Twins a 7-2 win over the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

May, making his 11th career start, went six innings, allowing just one run on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts. It was first time in his career he went at least six innings and gave up fewer than three runs. It helped the Twins to their second straight series win after also taking two of three from the Royals this week. More >

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

New pitch helps May to career-best effort vs. Tribe

Starter credits two-seam fastball for one-run effort

New pitch helps May to career-best effort vs. Tribe

MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering where the Twins were in Trevor May's last start in the home opener on Monday, it ended up being a strong homestand for a club that started off the year by going 1-5 on the road.

The Twins lost in May's previous outing to fall to 1-6 on the year, but rallied to win four of five games against the previously unbeaten Royals and the Indians, including a 7-2 win over Cleveland in the series finale on Sunday behind perhaps the best start of May's young career.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Nolasco throws with no issues, injury rehab on track

Right-hander will start Class A assignment Saturday

Nolasco throws with no issues, injury rehab on track

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, progressed to throwing off a mound without any issues on Sunday and will start a rehab assignment with Class A Cedar Rapids on Saturday.

Nolasco, on the DL retroactive to April 9, previously played long toss this week before moving on to throwing a bullpen session on Sunday. There's still no exact timetable for his return, but everything went well enough that he's ready to take the next step to make a rehab start.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Hughes' solid start foiled as Twins fall to Indians

Hughes' solid start foiled as Twins fall to Indians

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Danny Salazar struck out 10 batters in his first start of the season, and was backed by a solo homer from catcher Roberto Perez to help lead the Indians to a 4-2 win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

"That was really impressive," Perez said. "That was the Danny I know from past years. He was attacking the zone early. He was really aggressive with his fastball. He was overpowering those guys, and then he worked with that splitty off his fastball. He was really effective."

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Boyer bounces back with strong outing

Boyer bounces back with strong outing

MINNEAPOLIS -- After starting out the season with a 15.00 ERA in four relief appearances, Twins reliever Blaine Boyer bounced back with strong outings on Friday and Saturday, and said it came after tweaking his mechanics.

Boyer, who was signed to a Minor League deal before the season, made the Twins after being the club's best reliever in Spring Training. But it didn't carry over into the season, as he allowed at least one run in three of his first four appearances, including three runs without recording an out on Sunday.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Do not adjust your TVs: Joe Mauer has grown a beard

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Do not adjust your TVs: Joe Mauer has grown a beard

Have no fear, good citizens of the world, there is nothing to be alarmed about. Sure, you may have turned on a Twins game sometime in the last week and noticed some bearded individual striding to the plate under Joe Mauer's name.

You may have thought about alerting the authorities to the imposter in their midst. You may even have considered running for the nearest 1950s bomb shelter because clearly the invasion of the pod people had begun. I mean, yes, beards have spread across Major League faces like an invasive disease, but surely Mauer and his corn-fed farm boy sideburns would be spared, right? 

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Plouffe's 11th-inning blast lifts Twins to 3rd straight

Plouffe's 11th-inning blast lifts Twins to 3rd straight

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Plouffe connected on a walk-off solo homer in the 11th inning to give the Twins a 3-2 win over the Indians on Friday night at Target Field.

Plouffe's blast came on a 3-1 cutter from Indians right-hander Bryan Shaw, and gave the Twins their third straight win. It helped atone for the Twins' inability to come through with runners in scoring position in the ninth and 10th innings.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Extra hitting work pays off for Plouffe

Third baseman shakes off slow start to season, swats walk-off homer in 11th

Extra hitting work pays off for Plouffe

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Trevor Plouffe walked up to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning against Indians reliever Bryan Shaw on Friday night, all he had to do was look up at the scoreboard to see how much he's struggled in the early going this year.

Plouffe entered the at-bat hitting .118 with one homer and one RBI in 34 at-bats, but with just one swing, he gave the Twins a 3-2 win with a walk-off homer. It was the third career walk-off hit for Plouffe and gave the Twins their third straight victory.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Duensing lands on DL, Twins recall Thielbar

Duensing lands on DL, Twins recall Thielbar

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins placed left-handed reliever Brian Duensing on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain on Friday, and recalled fellow left-hander Caleb Thielbar from Triple-A Rochester to take his place on the roster.

Duensing said he felt something in his side while pitching on Monday, and it worsened while pitching in the ninth inning of Thursday's game against the Royals. The lefty struggled in the outing, allowing two runs on three hits while recording just one out. It caused Duensing's ERA to rise to 7.36 in 3 2/3 innings this season.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Glen Perkins has strong opinions about toilet paper

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Glen Perkins has strong opinions about toilet paper

As humanity's history has shown, there are two kinds of people who inhabit this world: People who know how to hang a toilet paper roll, and people who don't. Unfortunately, Glen Perkins is one of the latter, as proven by this tweet from Friday afternoon. 

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Nolasco tentatively slated to throw off mound

Nolasco tentatively slated to throw off mound

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, began his throwing program on Wednesday. He is tentatively scheduled to throw off the mound on Sunday, manager Paul Molitor said on Thursday.

Nolasco, on the DL retroactive to April 9, played long toss on Wednesday and Thursday without any issues.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Twins' offense turns corner in set with Royals

Twins' offense turns corner in set with Royals

MINNEAPOLIS -- After being routed in the home opener against the Royals on Monday, the Twins were 1-6 and still reeling after a frustrating first week of the season.

But they bounced back, winning two straight against previously-unbeaten Kansas City, including an 8-5 win in the rubber game on Thursday afternoon that saw Minnesota post season high totals in both hits (14) and runs. It was the first series victory of the season and it came against a club that entered the series with a 6-0 record.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Mauer's 3 RBIs help Twins foil Royals

Mauer's 3 RBIs help Twins foil Royals

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kennys Vargas and Kurt Suzuki both connected on two-run homers, while Joe Mauer added three RBIs to help lead the Twins to an 8-5 win over the Royals on Thursday afternoon at Target Field. It gave the Minnesota its first series win of the season, and handed Kansas City a second straight loss after a 7-0 start.

Left-hander Tommy Milone improved to 2-0, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. He served up a two-run homer to Lorenzo Cain in the first, but Milone settled in after that. The Royals scored their third run off Milone in the third on an RBI double from Salvador Perez to score Cain.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. 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.

'Always a special day': Twins, Torii honor Jackie's legacy

'Always a special day': Twins, Torii honor Jackie's legacy

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins celebrated the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier with a special ceremony at Target Field before Wednesday's game against the Royals.

The Twins showed a pregame video honoring Robinson and his impact on baseball, and Jackie Robinson Essay winners were also presented with awards.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Gibson cools off KC with effective mix of pitches

Gibson cools off KC with effective mix of pitches

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Twins desperately needing a win after their slow start to the season, the good version of right-hander Kyle Gibson showed up in a 3-1 win over the Royals on Wednesday night at Target Field.

Gibson struggled with his consistency in his first full year in the rotation last year, as he had a 1.42 ERA in his 13 wins and an 11.04 ERA in his losses. And he was coming off a rough outing in his season debut against the Tigers on Thursday, as he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and five walks.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Arcia, Gibson help Twins hand first loss to Royals

Arcia, Gibson help Twins hand first loss to Royals

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson outdueled Edinson Volquez, and Oswaldo Arcia connected on a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth inning to help lead the Twins to a 3-1 win and hand the Royals their first loss of the season on Wednesday night at Target Field.

Gibson surrendered just one run over 6 2/3 innings, scattering nine hits without walking a batter. It was a marked improvement from his first start, as he walked five batters and gave up six runs in a loss against the Tigers in his season debut. The lone run he allowed came on a two-out RBI single from Alex Gordon in the fourth.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. 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.

Graham's high stirrups help legally blind mom spot him

Graham's high stirrups help legally blind mom spot him

MINNEAPOLIS -- As the Twins were being introduced on the foul line before Monday's home opener against the Royals, it was easy to spot reliever J.R. Graham with his stirrups pulled up high.

But it wasn't just because of the way Graham likes to wear his socks, as he does it to help his mother, Julie, identify him on the field. She's legally blind, diagnosed with a rare retina disorder called Best Disease, so it's something Graham has been doing since his days playing Little League.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Twins determined to overcome early bumps

Rough first week has club seeking ways to adjust for quick turnaround

Twins determined to overcome early bumps

MINNEAPOLIS -- After what had been an encouraging Spring Training, it's hard to imagine the first week of the season going much worse for the Twins.

On the heels of four straight seasons with 90-plus losses, Minnesota is 1-6, getting outscored 45-16. The Twins lost right-hander Ervin Santana to an 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing substance just three days before Opening Day, and fellow right-hander Ricky Nolasco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow inflammation after his first outing.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

For first time, Torii calls Target Field home

Right fielder has recording of late PA announcer Casey introduce first at-bat

For first time, Torii calls Target Field home

MINNEAPOLIS -- With 29 career games played at Target Field entering 2015, the ballpark isn't exactly new to Twins right fielder Torii Hunter.

But Monday's home opener against the Royals marked the first time Hunter was at Target Field in the home clubhouse as a member of the Twins. Hunter previously played 11 seasons with the Twins at the now-demolished Metrodome before playing five seasons with the Angels and two with the Tigers.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Twins fall to red-hot Royals in home opener

Twins fall to red-hot Royals in home opener

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Danny Duffy tossed 6 1/3 solid innings, and he was backed by another strong showing from the offense to help keep the Royals undefeated with a 12-3 win over the Twins on Monday at Target Field.

Duffy outpitched Twins right-hander Trevor May, who made the start in Minnesota's home opener in place of Ricky Nolasco, who is out with right elbow inflammation. It helped the Royals to a 7-0 start on the year, which is the second best in franchise history behind only a 9-0 start by the 2003 Royals.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. 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.

Fielding miscues costing Twins this season

Club misplays several balls while falling to Royals in home opener

Fielding miscues costing Twins this season

MINNEAPOLIS -- With all the pomp and circumstance that comes with hosting a home opener, Monday was primed to be a good day for the Twins with a sold-out crowd at Target Field.

Instead, it ended with an ugly 12-3 defeat to the unbeaten Royals keyed by several defensive miscues by the Twins, just a day after they dropped three popups in a loss to the White Sox.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fien available for Twins after testing shoulder

Reliever was held out of series against White Sox

Fien available for Twins after testing shoulder

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins reliever Casey Fien threw off the mound without any issues before Monday's game against the Royals, and he said he's ready to return to action.

Fien felt some shoulder discomfort after throwing against the Tigers on Thursday, and the right-hander was held out of Minnesota's three-game series against the White Sox over the weekend. Fien initially suffered the injury when he slipped on the mound while delivering a pitch, and the slip caused him to yank his right arm across his body.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Twins looking forward, not back after rough trip

Despite 1-5 start, Minnesota ready for home opener

Twins looking forward, not back after rough trip

CHICAGO -- The Twins have a lot to look forward to. They'll play their home opener against the Royals on Monday in a lively atmosphere, as it'll be the Twins' first sellout since Aug. 3, 2013, at Target Field.

Then they can put a poor first week of the season behind them.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Defensive miscues vs. White Sox not crushing, but avoidable

Defensive miscues vs. White Sox not crushing, but avoidable

CHICAGO -- The Twins changed up their lineup to load up on right-handed batters against Chris Sale and the White Sox on Sunday. In the end, the defense faltered in a 6-2 loss.

The Twins dropped three fly balls, two in the second inning, though the White Sox were unable to score on any of those miscues.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.