Twins take solace in their winning road trip

Twins take solace in their winning road trip

ST. PETERSBURG -- After starting a 10-game road trip with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, the Twins were in danger of slipping out of the playoff race with seven games on tap against the contending Orioles and Rays.

But the Twins righted the ship, winning six straight games until a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday night at Tropicana Field. So while it ended with a defeat, the Twins still came away mostly satisfied with their 6-4 road trip through the American League East.

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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 fall out of Wild Card spot with loss to Rays

Twins fall out of Wild Card spot with loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joey Butler hit a game-tying single and scored on a passed ball to help the Rays snap a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Twins on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

The Twins (65-62) entered the game tied with the Rangers for the second American League Wild Card spot and finished 6-4 on the road trip. By winning, the Rays (63-64) avoided a sweep while moving to within two games of the Twins in the Wild Card standings.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 hits 'quirky' double off Tropicana Field catwalk

Sano hits 'quirky' double off Tropicana Field catwalk

ST. PETERBURG -- Twins rookie slugger Miguel Sano hit one of the more unusual doubles of the season in Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Rays, as he crushed a high drive off left-hander Drew Smyly that hit the "B" ring at Tropicana Field and remained in play for an RBI double.

With two out in the third and Brian Dozier at first base, Sano smacked an 0-1 fastball to left-center that would have been a homer, but instead hit the catwalk. Dozier scored from first on the play, while Sano held at second base.

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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.

Perkins likely to avoid DL with back spasms

Perkins likely to avoid DL with back spasms

ST. PETERSBURG -- Twins closer Glen Perkins remains day to day with lower back spasms, as manager Paul Molitor said Perkins felt better on Thursday, but he wasn't available to pitch in a 5-4 loss to the Rays.

Molitor, though, said after the game that there's growing optimism Perkins will be ready to return on Friday against the Astros.

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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 seeks return to win column against Astros

Gibson seeks return to win column against Astros

Left-hander Scott Kazmir, who's third in the American League in ERA at 2.39, gets the start for the first-place Astros when they open a three-game series against the Twins on Friday at Target Field. Right-hander Kyle Gibson will start for Minnesota.

Kazmir (7-8) is making his seventh start with the Astros after being acquired in a July 23 trade with the A's. With Houston, he's 2-3 with a 2.41 ERA. The club is 3-3 in his six starts.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twin Cities kids thrilled by Play Ball event

Twin Cities kids thrilled by Play Ball event

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer and manager Paul Molitor were more than 1,500 miles away from their hometown Wednesday night as the team took on the Rays in Florida, but around 60 other St. Paul ballplayers took the field back in Minnesota as part of the Play Ball initiative.

"I have said it many times. I think the capital of baseball in this state probably is St. Paul," Twins president Dave St. Peter said to a crowd of kids ages 8-14. "How can you not say that when you think of the history of baseball in this community and the number of great players that this city has turned out?"

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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 beat Rays, take over 2nd Wild Card spot

Twins beat Rays, take over 2nd Wild Card spot

ST. PETERSBURG -- Minnesota continued to roll on Wednesday night with a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field to claim its sixth consecutive victory and move into the top spot for the second American League Wild Card.

With the Angels' loss to the Tigers and Rangers falling to the Blue Jays, the Twins (65-61) have leapfrogged past them and now have a half-game lead over Texas and a one-game lead over Los Angeles in the AL Wild Card race.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. 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.

Small ball helps Twins keep on rolling

Small ball helps Twins keep on rolling

ST. PETERSBURG -- Twins manager Paul Molitor has stressed to his players how bunting can be a weapon all season, and it paid off against the Rays on Wednesday.

A pair of bunt singles from Byron Buxton and Brian Dozier off Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer in the seventh inning loaded the bases and helped spark a two-run rally to lift the Twins to their sixth straight win with a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay.

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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.

Berrios allows three hits in seven scoreless for Red Wings

Twins No. 2 prospect strikes out a season-high 12 for Triple-A Rochester

Berrios allows three hits in seven scoreless for Red Wings

It's reached the point where each of Jose Berrios' starts for Triple-A Rochester might be his last.

The Twins' No. 2 prospect (No. 23 overall) was at his best Wednesday night, allowing just three hits and one walk in seven scoreless innings as Rochester defeated Syracuse, 6-0.

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

Twins activate Boyer, place Graham on DL

Twins activate Boyer, place Graham on DL

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Twins reinstated right-hander Blaine Boyer from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and placed Rule 5 Draft pick J.R. Graham on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation.

Boyer made an immediate impact on Wednesday, tossing two scoreless innings in the Twins' 5-3 win over the Rays.

"It was nice to have Blaine available," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We found a way to hang on."

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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.

Rookie trio leads Twins to series-opening win

Sano, Rosario go deep while Buxton tallies a pair of hits

Rookie trio leads Twins to series-opening win

ST. PETERSBURG -- After years of hearing about top prospects Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, the future is finally here for the Twins, and the trio came up big yet again on Tuesday against the Rays.

Buxton, Sano and Rosario combined to go 5-for-13 with two homers, a triple, a double, two walks, five RBIs and five runs scored to help the Twins to an 11-7 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. It was the fifth straight victory for the Twins, who now trail the Rangers by a half-game for the second American League Wild Card spot. Minnesota improved to 5-0 with Buxton and Sano in the lineup together.

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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' three homers top Rays in slugfest

Twins' three homers top Rays in slugfest

ST. PETERSBURG -- A game between a pair of Wild Card contenders was, well, wild on Tuesday night as a heated offensive battle took place in an 11-7 Twins win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

With the win, the Twins improved to a two-game advantage over the Rays in the cluttered race for the American League's second Wild Card spot. The loss moved the Rays back below .500 for the season (62-63). The Twins are now a half game back in the race, while the Rays are 2 1/2 games behind in the second Wild Card following the Rangers' loss to the Blue Jays.

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Rhett Bollinger and Bill Chastain are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins wait to decide Boyer's next step

Right-hander may be activated or go on rehab assignment

Twins wait to decide Boyer's next step

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer threw a bullpen session without any issues on Monday, and the Twins will decide whether he'll be activated from the 15-day disabled list or sent out on a rehab assignment.

Boyer, on the DL retroactive to Aug. 9 with right elbow inflammation, is eligible to be activated, but with rosters expanding on Sept. 1, the Twins could decide to send him on a rehab assignment instead.

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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.

Breaking down Sano's game-changing tools

Twins rookie blends patience, power and consistency in historic start to career

Breaking down Sano's game-changing tools

ST. PETERSBURG -- When the Twins called up Miguel Sano from Double-A Chattanooga on July 2, they were hoping the 22-year-old could help spark the offense as the club's everyday designated hitter.

Sano has done just that and more in a historic start, as he became the fastest Minnesota rookie to reach 10 homers, doing it in 41 games. He's shown power and patience at the plate, hitting .288/.397/.582 with 11 homers, 12 doubles and 34 RBIs in 44 games.

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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.

Dozier's hustle sparks Twins' wild rally

Sliding single, Plouffe's clutch hit pave way for comeback

Dozier's hustle sparks Twins' wild rally

BALTIMORE -- The first eight innings of Minnesota's 4-3 win Sunday afternoon were fairly boring for the Twins, with the exception of Miguel Sano's two-run homer in the first.

After three collecting three hits in the opening frame, the Twins saw 17 batters go up to the plate and quickly return to the dugout as Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman mowed through the lineup. It wasn't until a Manny Machado error in the seventh inning that the Twins saw another baserunner.

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

Twins jump on errors in 12th to sweep O's

Twins jump on errors in 12th to sweep O's

BALTIMORE -- The Twins pounced on a pair of 12th-inning errors Sunday afternoon as Minnesota beat Baltimore, 4-3, to complete the four-game series and seven-game season sweeps of the Orioles.

Manny Machado and Jimmy Paredes both recorded errors in the 12th, with the second allowing Eduardo Escobar to come across for the winning run. The game wouldn't have made it to extra innings if it weren't for Trevor Plouffe's two-out RBI single in the ninth that tied the game at 3. The inning started with a leadoff infield single from Brian Dozier, which provided the groundwork for Zach Britton's third blown save of the season.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hughes likely sidelined until September

Twins starter progressing slowly from lower back injury

Hughes likely sidelined until September

BALTIMORE -- Twins starter Phil Hughes is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list this week but isn't expected to rejoin the team until after rosters expand on Sept. 1, according to manager Paul Molitor.

"Hughes has progressed slowly," Molitor said. "He's not close to being ready this week, so that's not going to be a question we have to ponder until probably as we expand rosters in September to see where he's at."

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

Small ball comes up huge for Twins

Minnesota executes hit-and-run, squeeze in pivotal inning

Small ball comes up huge for Twins

BALTIMORE -- You hear it all the time, "The little things matter." It's one of the most overused sayings in baseball, but the Twins proved its validity in Saturday night's 3-2 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Minnesota's seventh inning was as good an example as any for how to manufacture runs, as it included a leadoff walk, a hit-and-run, a safety squeeze and an RBI single.

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

Cotts joins Twins after trade from Brewers

Lefty brings experience to bullpen; Achter optioned

Cotts joins Twins after trade from Brewers

BALTIMORE -- As the Twins filed into the clubhouse before Saturday's game with the Orioles, Neal Cotts stuck out from the rest of the group, carrying a Brewers equipment bag with the No. 48 imprinted on it.

The veteran lefty was not only walking into a different locker room, but also a different situation after being traded from the Brewers to Minnesota on Friday night for a player to be named or cash.

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

Buxton's first RBI lifts Twins over O's

Buxton's first RBI lifts Twins over O's

BALTIMORE -- Top Twins prospect Byron Buxton collected his first Major League RBI on Saturday night, and it couldn't have come at a bigger time, as the rookie's single propelled Minnesota past the Orioles, 3-2.

"He's a young kid who is extremely talented and he is kind of finding his way up here," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There are going to be days where it's going to be a little challenging for him as he adjusts to what the pitching is like up here on a regular basis. But it was nice to see him get his first RBI in a big situation."

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Wings' Berrios fans 10, leads Minors in K's

Minnesota's No. 2 prospect is Minor League strikeout leader after fanning 10 for Red Wings

Red Wings' Berrios fans 10, leads Minors in K's

Jose Berrios looks like he's ready for the Major Leagues.

The Twins' No. 2 prospect (No. 24 overall) dominated on Friday for Triple-A Rochester, allowing one earned run on five hits in seven innings in the team's 3-2 14-inning loss to the RailRiders. The right-hander struck out 10 batters and did not issue a walk, throwing 70 of his 102 pitches for strikes.

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

Twins rally past Orioles on Suzuki's bloop

Twins rally past Orioles on Suzuki's bloop

BALTIMORE -- After falling behind by two in the sixth inning, the Twins rallied for three runs in the eighth off All-Star reliever Darren O'Day for a 4-3 victory on Friday night, winning their fifth consecutive game over the Orioles this season.

Miguel Sano -- who collected a pair of hits -- began the eighth with a walk and scored on an Eddie Rosario sacrifice fly three batters later. With the Baltimore infielders playing on the grass to prevent the game-tying run, Kurt Suzuki's bloop single landed in shallow right field to score two as the Twins jumped to a 4-3 lead. Minnesota starter Tommy Milone lasted 5 1/3 innings, and the Twins used three pitchers the rest of the way, with Casey Fien picking up his third win.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jepsen fans side for 1st save with Twins

Filling in for ailing Perkins, righty whiffs tough Orioles trio

Jepsen fans side for 1st save with Twins

BALTIMORE -- With the Twins leading by a run in the bottom of the ninth, an unfamiliar face trotted out of the bullpen doors in center field to make his way to the mound at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

With All-Star closer Glen Perkins unavailable due to a neck injury, Kevin Jepsen made the long jog to the rubber, where he quickly collected his sixth save of the season and first as a Twin in Minnesota's 4-3 victory over the Orioles on Friday night.

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

Twins work with Buxton on steal technique

Top prospect swiped 94 bags on 121 attempts in Minors

Twins work with Buxton on steal technique

BALTIMORE -- The Twins' No. 1 prospect is tall, lean and not your typical base stealer. But, boy, can the 21-year-old fly.

In four Minor League seasons, Byron Buxton stole 94 bases while getting caught only 27 times. After calling him up from Triple-A Rochester this week, the Twins hope Buxton will bring an element of the running game to their offense.

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

Duffey snares hot shot, rolls to 2nd win

Rookie stifles Orioles, fans career-high 8 in 3rd MLB start

Duffey snares hot shot, rolls to 2nd win

BALTIMORE -- Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey has only made three starts in the Majors, but he made a big league play in Thursday night's 15-2 victory over the Orioles.

Facing Baltimore's Adam Jones to open the bottom of the fourth inning, the rookie caught a frozen rope smashed right back at him. Duffey, whose momentum after his delivery was carrying him to the first-base side of the mound, quickly flipped his shoulders and caught the liner a foot or two away from his face.

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

Prospects in place: Sano, Buxton reunited

Highly touted duo looking to push Twins toward postseason

Prospects in place: Sano, Buxton reunited

BALTIMORE -- Minnesota fans saw something Thursday night they had been waiting for for a long time: Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton in the same lineup.

Two of Minnesota's most promising young prospects were in the starting lineup together for the first time at the Major League level, both batting in the top half of the order and contributing to the Twins' 15-2 romp over the Orioles.

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

Twins pour it on Orioles as Duffey cruises

Twins pour it on Orioles as Duffey cruises

BALTIMORE -- Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey was unfazed by a downpour that stalled Thursday's start by two hours and 31 minutes. In just his third Major League start, the 6-foot-3 rookie responded to the delay like a veteran, going 7 2/3 innings to lead the Twins to a 15-2 victory and their fourth straight win over the Orioles this season.

Duffey was aided by a five-run second inning from the Minnesota offense, which drew some early boos from Baltimore fans directed at starter Miguel Gonzalez. After an 11-pitch first inning, Gonzalez tossed 40 pitches in the second as four different Twins players picked up an RBI in the frame.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins place Hicks on DL, recall Buxton

Center fielder injures hamstring running out grounder

Twins place Hicks on DL, recall Buxton

NEW YORK -- Top prospect Byron Buxton is rejoining the Twins, as fellow center fielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain suffered in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees.

Hicks hit a grounder to third in the sixth inning and tried to beat out the throw to first, but came up lame after reaching the bag. He was removed for shortstop Eduardo Nunez, as Eduardo Escobar moved from shortstop to left field and Eddie Rosario moved to center 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.