Suzuki's walk-off awakens bats from slumber

Suzuki's walk-off awakens bats from slumber

MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering the Twins had scored just two runs on five hits over their previous 17 innings, with one of those runs coming on a wild pitch, there wasn't reason for much optimism heading into the ninth inning on Saturday.

But the Twins showed their resiliency against Mariners closer Carson Smith, scoring twice with two outs in the ninth, including a walk-off RBI single from Kurt Suzuki in a much-needed 3-2 win in front of a frenzied crowd at Target Field.

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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 get wild walk-off win vs. Mariners

Twins get wild walk-off win vs. Mariners

MINNESOTA -- The Twins completed a comeback in walk-off fashion Saturday night, scoring two runs in the ninth and ousting the Mariners, 3-2, with a Kurt Suzuki single off of Carson Smith with two outs. Twins rookie Miguel Sano led off the ninth inning with a double and pinch-runner Shane Robinson took third and home on wild pitches from Smith before Suzuki drove in left fielder Eddie Rosario, who had been intentionally walked.

The Twins scored their first two runs on wild pitches. In the fourth, third baseman Trevor Plouffe tripled before a Mike Montgomery wild pitch brought him home. Starter Kyle Gibson kept his team in the game, bouncing back after giving up six runs in each of his past two starts, to limit the Mariners to just two runs on six hits in seven innings.

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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. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New father Plouffe back to work with Twins

Third baseman returns from paternity list, triples and scores in win

New father Plouffe back to work with Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- It might be some time before Teddy Plouffe makes his Target Field debut, but his father, Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe, was happy to be back at work in Saturday's 3-2 walk-off win vs. the Mariners after spending the past three days on the paternity list.

Plouffe went 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in his return on Saturday. 

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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.

Twins honor 50th anniversary of '65 AL pennant

Twins honor 50th anniversary of '65 AL pennant

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sandy Valdespino has had the first weekend of August marked on his calendar since late January. That's when the former outfielder got a letter from the Twins informing him of the plan to hold a 1965 reunion weekend, honoring the pennant-winning group on its 50th anniversary.

"After that, I [couldn't] wait. I was very excited to come here," Valdespino said. "This is tremendous."

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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.

Newly acquired Jepsen joins Twins' bullpen

Newly acquired Jepsen joins Twins' bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Kevin Jepsen, who was traded to the Twins from the Rays before Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, officially joined the club on Saturday, though he didn't pitch in his new club's 3-2 walk-off win over the Mariners.

Twins manager Paul Molitor met with Jepsen in his office before the game to explain his role to him, as Jepsen will serve as a setup reliever but could see time in the seventh and eighth innings depending on matchups.

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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.

Pelfrey looks to lead Twins in finale vs. Mariners

Pelfrey looks to lead Twins in finale vs. Mariners

Mariners starter Taijuan Walker dominated the Twins on Friday, giving up just one hit in a complete-game victory. And if Hisashi Iwakuma's past history against the Twins is any indication, another Mariners pitcher could be on his way to a dominant start in Sunday's series finale at Target Field.

Iwakuma is 5-0 against the Twins and hasn't allowed an earned run in 33 2/3 innings against them. Current Twins are hitting a combined .164/.179/.164 with no extra-base hits against Iwakuma, with just one walk and 15 strikeouts.

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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.

Twins add to bullpen by getting Jepsen from Rays

Thielbar DFA'd; New reliever set to join club Saturday

Twins add to bullpen by getting Jepsen from Rays

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received much-needed relief help before Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, as they acquired right-handed reliever Kevin Jepsen from the Rays for two Minor Leaguers.

The Twins sent pitchers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia to Tampa Bay. Hu was ranked Minnesota's No. 20 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. The Twins also designated Triple-A left-hander Caleb Thielbar for assignment. Jepsen will join the Twins on Saturday, and a corresponding move will come then.

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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 shines, but Twins shut down by Mariners

Sano shines, but Twins shut down by Mariners

MINNEAPOLIS -- Taijuan Walker was dominant Friday, helping the Mariners snap a four-game losing streak and giving up just one run on one hit in Friday's 6-1 victory over the Twins. Walker struck out 11 in the first nine-inning complete game of his career, and was aided by two RBIs apiece from Brad Miller, Jesus Montero and Nelson Cruz.

"You can see what this young man is going to become and it's going to be special," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said after the 22-year-old right-hander improved to 8-7 with a 4.73 ERA.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santana, Polanco optioned to clear space

Twins make room on roster for newly acquired Jepsen, returning Plouffe

Santana, Polanco optioned to clear space

MINNEAPOLIS -- To make room for new acquisition Kevin Jepsen and third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who is returning from the paternity list, the Twins announced they will option shortstops Danny Santana and Jorge Polanco to Triple-A and Double-A, respectively, after Friday's 6-1 loss to the Mariners.

Santana, who has started a bulk of the games for the Twins at shortstop this season, has been struggling at the plate and has 16 errors. Polanco was called up with Plouffe out and made two starts. He was at Triple-A before his most recent callup, hitting .284 in 22 games there, but he will go down a level.

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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.

Hicks credits vet Hunter for improved play

Hicks credits vet Hunter for improved play

MINNEAPOLIS -- Like so many of his teammates in so many times this year, Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks was quick to credit Torii Hunter when asked about his own success. Hunter has been a mentor to him, helping him game plan and answering his questions.

"I work with Torii every day," Hicks said. "I'm constantly in his ear."

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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.

Rosario flirts with cycle to lead hit parade

Rosario flirts with cycle to lead hit parade

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario and Aaron Hicks combined for six hits, five runs and four RBIs to help the Twins snap a four-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Mariners on Thursday night at Target Field.

Rosario fell a single short of the cycle, as he was robbed of a hit in the eighth on a leaping catch from Mariners shortstop Brad Miller, but still had three hits, including a three-run blast as part of a five-run first inning. Hicks registered his fifth straight multi-hit game by going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a walk, and is hitting .365 over his last 22 games since coming off the disabled list.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat and listen to his podcast. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Mariners Musings blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Youngsters come through vs. Mariners

Twins get encouraging view of future as they snap skid

Youngsters come through vs. Mariners

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins got encouraging news pregame Thursday on their top prospect, Byron Buxton, who is inching closer to his return from injury. And just a few hours later, they got more promising glimpses of their future, as they were led by a team of youngsters in their 9-5 victory over the Mariners.

Perhaps none were more impactful than left fielder Eddie Rosario, who was just a single away from the cycle after homering in the first, doubling in the third and tripling in the fifth.

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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.

Buxton takes batting practice, nears return

Twins rookie progressing with recovery from sprained thumb

Buxton takes batting practice, nears return

MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton moved another step closer to his return Thursday, participating in batting practice on the field for the first time since spraining his thumb in late June.

"It felt good," Buxton said. "We're just trying to get out there and not do too much and just swing the bat a little bit and try to see how it feels, but it feels great."

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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.

Kepler shows off power, Gonsalves doesn't allow a hit for Miracle

Twins No. 7 prospect rips 2 homers, No. 10 prospect doesn't allow a hit in 5 frames

Kepler shows off power, Gonsalves doesn't allow a hit for Miracle

After getting a bump in the revised Top 30 Prospect Rankings, Max Kepler is in a groove for Double-A Chattanooga.

The outfielder followed a homer on Wednesday night with two homers on Thursday as the Lookouts took down Pensacola, 3-0. Kepler -- Minnesota's No. 7 prospect -- finished 3-for-4 with the two jacks and two RBIs, pushing his hitting streak to seven and his season line to .337/.418/.553. He's gone yard six times this year and has collected 25 doubles, nine triples, 46 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

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

Early lead fizzles as Twins drop fourth straight

Early lead fizzles as Twins drop fourth straight

MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew McCutchen had three RBIs, including a two-run homer, to back left-hander Francisco Liriano against his former team in a 10-4 win for the Pirates over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.

McCutchen came up big for Pittsburgh, crushing a game-tying two-run blast in the fifth before coming through with another big hit as part of a five-run sixth. With two runners on, McCutchen smacked a liner to right that Eddie Rosario couldn't handle, and he ended up scoring on the play due to interference from third baseman Eduardo Nunez.

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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. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Petition started to put Killebrew on US stamp

Petition started to put Killebrew on US stamp

MINNEAPOLIS -- Harmon Killebrew has been honored with numerous accolades after his illustrious playing career -- including being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Minnesota Twins' Hall of Fame in 2000 -- but he could see his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp.

Killebrew, who died in 2011 after a battle with esophageal cancer, has been nominated to be featured on a commemorative postage stamp. Fans can sign the petition urging the United States Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to select Killebrew. A Twitter account (@HarmonUSStamp) has also been created. The goal is to try to get 1,000 signatures on the petition.

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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.

Miscues aplenty sting Twins in finale vs. Bucs

Miscues aplenty sting Twins in finale vs. Bucs

MINNEAPOLIS -- After smacking a hit to right field, Miguel Sano rounded second, overrunning the base by just a couple of steps. He was tagged out, ending a mistake-filled game in a fitting way as the Twins fell to the Pirates, 10-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.

Perhaps starter Ervin Santana summed it up best after the game.

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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.

Twins recall Polanco with Plouffe on paternity list

Twins recall Polanco with Plouffe on paternity list

MINNEAPOLIS -- Shortstop Jorge Polanco officially joined the Twins on Wednesday, as third baseman Trevor Plouffe was placed on the paternity list. Plouffe and his wife, Olivia, were expecting their first child on Wednesday.

Polanco, ranked as the No. 89 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, was called up from Triple-A Rochester and went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter in the Twins' 10-4 loss to the Pirates. Twins manager Paul Molitor said it's still too early to say when Plouffe will return -- he can be away from the team for a minimum of one day and a maximum of three days -- and that it's not set in stone that Polanco will be the one optioned once Plouffe returns.

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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 battle back, only to fall on late HR

Twins battle back, only to fall on late HR

MINNEAPOLIS -- After the Twins rallied to tie the game with four runs in the eighth inning, Jung Ho Kang delivered a go-ahead solo homer off closer Glen Perkins in the ninth to lift the Pirates to an 8-7 win Tuesday night at Target Field.

Kang's game-winning blast came on a 1-2 slider from Perkins, who left the pitch up in the zone. It was another rough outing for Minnesota's All-Star closer, who has blown two saves with a 14.73 ERA since 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. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen hitting bump in the road

Twins may add reinforcements at Deadline

Bullpen hitting bump in the road

MINNEAPOLIS -- Just a few days before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, likely the biggest item on the Twins' wish list revealed itself once more: Minnesota needs bullpen reinforcements.

In a tie game tied in the eighth, the Pirates broke through off relievers Casey Fien and Brian Duensing, scoring four runs. The Twins stormed right back with four runs before Jung Ho Kang got to closer Glen Perkins with a homer in the ninth in the Twins' 8-7 loss.

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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 named Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominee

Dozier named Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominee

The active Major League players and Hall of Famers nominated for the 2015 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award were revealed Tuesday.

The award, now in its third year, honors the legacy of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who became the first professional athlete to enlist in the U.S. military after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. A current MLB player, a Hall of Famer and a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer are recognized each Veterans Day in a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

May brings high hopes to Twins' bullpen

May brings high hopes to Twins' bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Perhaps the Twins' biggest need as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches on Friday is a reliever or two who can help bridge the gap to closer Glen Perkins. Minnesota might have found part of its solution in-house.

Rookie Trevor May started the season in the rotation, but he was the odd man out when Ervin Santana returned from his 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in early July. May has yet to throw a 1-2-3 inning from the bullpen in six appearances, though slowly but surely, he's been adapting, making four scoreless outings.

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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.

Strong outing unravels for Gibson in a flash

Strong outing unravels for Gibson in a flash

MINNEAPOLIS -- With All-Star closer Glen Perkins coming in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning Saturday and the Twins' most consistent starter, Kyle Gibson, pitching Sunday, a series win over the Yankees looked inevitable. After all, the Twins had beaten up on New York the night before in a 10-1 rout, breaking out of the offensive slumber that had plagued them in their previous series.

But Perkins struggled with his location, blowing the save en route to a loss on Saturday and Gibson, who mostly cruised through the first five innings Sunday, had command problems in a six-run sixth as the Twins fell to the Yankees, 7-2, at Target Field.

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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.

Six-run sixth sinks Gibson, Twins vs. Yanks

Six-run sixth sinks Gibson, Twins vs. Yanks

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nathan Eovaldi pitched into the ninth inning, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew each homered and the Yankees improved to a season-high 13 games over .500 with a 7-2 victory over the Twins on Sunday at Target Field.

Drew hit a two-run homer and Headley lined a two-run single as part of a six-run sixth inning that knocked out Twins starter Kyle Gibson. That provided a large cushion for Eovaldi, who has received strong run support all season long and picked up his team-leading 10th victory.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Molitor not sweating Perkins' recent hiccups

Reliever Pressly progressing; GM Ryan focused on Twins' needs with Deadline nearing

Molitor not sweating Perkins' recent hiccups

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes the best thing for a closer coming off a blown save is to get right back in there. At least that's how Twins manager Paul Molitor views it, so when a save situation arises, Glen Perkins will be right back in the middle of it for the Twins.

"If he gets back into the game, it means we're in a good position to win, so I would have no hesitation," Molitor said.

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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.

Twins set Buxton's timeline; 1 month 'a stretch'

Club believes rookie outfielder's rehab stint won't be brief

Twins set Buxton's timeline; 1 month 'a stretch'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Just shy of a month after placing Byron Buxton on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb, the Twins have developed a plan for the rookie outfielder's return. Twins manager Paul Molitor said the "preliminary foundation," for the return was a bit drawn out.

On Friday, Buxton, who entered this season as the No. 1 overall prospect on MLBPipeline.com's Top 200 list, fielded some balls in the outfield, both on the ground and in the air. He also took some swings underwater, a practice that general manager Terry Ryan indicated is not uncommon.

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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.

Perkins' rare command lapse costs Twins

Closer struggles to locate in allowing pair of home runs during Yanks' comeback

Perkins' rare command lapse costs Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Not too many players swing at the first pitch they see from Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. But on Saturday night at Target Field, Alex Rodriguez did, and he watched the ball soar over the center-field wall to tie the game shortly before a second homer off the Twins' closer set the Yankees up for an 8-5 victory. After starting the season a perfect 28-for-28 in save opportunities, Perkins has blown two of his last three.

Perkins blew his first save of the season last weekend and his second on Saturday, getting tagged for four runs. After Rodriguez's home run, John Ryan Murphy piled on with a three-run drive. Before Saturday, Perkins had given up just two home runs all season.

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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.

Molitor ejected for disputing strikeout call

Twins' manager tossed for second time in career after Hicks' strikeout

Molitor ejected for disputing strikeout call

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Paul Molitor was ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson after center fielder Aaron Hicks struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning of Saturday night's 8-5 loss to the Yankees.

The usually mild-mannered Molitor was animated with Nelson. Hicks tried to check his swing, and Nelson rung him up without appealing to third-base umpire Laz Diaz for help, at Molitor's request.

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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.