Twins re-sign Hamburger, six others to Minors deals

Right-handed reliever posted 3.69 ERA in 70 2/3 innings in 2014

Twins re-sign Hamburger, six others to Minors deals

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins re-signed seven players to Minor League contracts for the 2015 season, including right-handed reliever Mark Hamburger, the club announced Friday. The Twins will announce Spring Training invites at a later date.

None of the seven players were added to the 40-man roster. The Twins currently have 36 players on the roster after selling rights to left-hander Kris Johnson to the Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Nippon Professional League. Minnesota also declined right-handed reliever Jared Burton's $3.6 million club option on Wednesday to free up another spot.

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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.

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Burton heads to free agency after Twins decline option

Burton heads to free agency after Twins decline option

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins declined their $3.6 million club option on right-handed reliever Jared Burton, the club announced Wednesday. Burton will receive a $200,000 buyout and will now become a free agent.

Burton, 33, posted a 4.36 ERA with three saves in 68 appearances last season. The right-hander struck out 46 and walked 25 in 64 innings.

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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.

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Prospect Kepler sparks four-run inning in AFL

Right fielder triples in second, scores run in victory for dominant Salt River

Prospect Kepler sparks four-run inning in AFL

Salt River has raced to the front of the pack in the Arizona Fall League thanks to a complete team effort. Seemingly in every game there is a new player leading the Rafters to victory in the desert.

Wednesday, it was Max Kepler's turn. The right fielder tripled and doubled, helping Salt River defeat Surprise, 9-2. With the victory, the Rafters improved to 10-3-1, becoming the first team to reach 10 wins this fall.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Thrilled to be back, Buxton leads Twins' AFL class

Top prospect looking to move forward after injury-riddled year

Thrilled to be back, Buxton leads Twins' AFL class

After a 2014 season that saw him play in just 31 games because of injuries, Byron Buxton is simply happy to be playing baseball anywhere.

Who can blame the No. 1 prospect in baseball, really? First, it was a wrist injury that kept him from making his 2014 debut in the Florida State League until early May, then forced him out again for two months. Then, he was involved in a scary outfield collision in his Double-A debut in early August that ended his season due to a concussion. In total, Buxton picked up only 124 at-bats in a year some thought might propel him to the big leagues at age 20.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Hughes leads Twins winners of Diamond Awards

Right-hander named club's Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year

Hughes leads Twins winners of Diamond Awards

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Thursday the winners of the annual Diamond Awards, which are based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Right-hander Phil Hughes was named both the Twins' Most Valuable Player as the recipient of the Calvin R. Griffith Award as well as Twins Pitcher of the Year, receiving the Joseph W. Haynes Award. The right-hander went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA and 186 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 209 2/3 innings. He set the record for the best single-season strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.63)in Major League Baseball history.

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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.

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Rosario rolls in AFL, likes fast pace of pitch clock

Twins prospect Rosario flashes speed as Peoria, Salt River play to 11-inning draw

Rosario rolls in AFL, likes fast pace of pitch clock

SCOTTSDALE -- The Salt River Rafters and Peoria Javelinas were tied at three when the game was called after 11 innings, but the Rafters may not have been in that position if it weren't for Twins prospect Eddie Rosario.

Friday night's matchup at Salt River Fields was the third game using the 20-second pitch clock, which Major League Baseball's Pace of Game Committee is testing -- along with other time-saving measures -- in the Arizona Fall League.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

With mechanical tweaks, May could find Majors success

Righty with full repertoire made 10 appearances for Twins this season

With mechanical tweaks, May could find Majors success

Trevor May got to enjoy his Draft-day experience with friends and family in his Kelso, Wash., home. A gathering of those close to May celebrated when the Phillies selected him in the fourth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

May, a tall and lanky 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander, could have easily fulfilled his original plan of pitching for the University of Washington. He had an outstanding career for Kelso High School, winning the semifinal 3A Championship Series game when he was a senior. That year, May went 11-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 128 strikeouts.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Twins prospect Reed earns AFL pitching honor

Right-hander, drafted this summer, impresses in first week with Rafters

Twins prospect Reed earns AFL pitching honor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jake Reed is taking to pro baseball like, well, a duck to water. An Oregon Duck, that is.

There are quite a few University of Oregon football players in the NFL. But to have a baseball player from that school reach the Major Leagues is more of a rarity, and Reed wants to be the one who gets the spotlight to shine in his direction.

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

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Twins outright Pino, Bernier, trim roster to 37

Twins outright Pino, Bernier, trim roster to 37

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins outrighted right-hander Yohan Pino and infielder Doug Bernier off the 40-man roster, the club announced Monday. Both are expected to be free agents, but Minnesota could bring one or both back on a Minor League deal later this offseason.

Pino, 30, made 11 starts with the Twins in 2014, posting a 5.07 ERA with 50 strikeouts, 14 walks and eight homers allowed in 60 1/3 innings. He fared much better at Triple-A Rochester, as the soft-tossing righty went 10-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 73 innings. He made his Major League debut on June 19, but saw his season end in late August after suffering a minor strain of his ulnar collateral ligament.

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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.

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Buxton gets bat going in AFL action

Baseball's top prospect hits RBI double, scores run in win for Salt River

Buxton gets bat going in AFL action

Byron Buxton played only 30 games for Advanced A Fort Myers and one game for Double-A New Britain as he was hampered early in the year with a wrist injury. So there's a reason he's MLB.com's top rated prospect.

Buxton, an outfielder in the Twins organization, put his entire arsenal of tools on display Monday as he led the Salt River Rafters to a 7-4 victory over the host Surprise Saguaros in Arizona Fall League action.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Buxton returns in AFL opener

Bird, Austin combine for six RBIs in victory

Buxton returns in AFL opener

With Archie Bradley and Tyler Glasnow on the mound as Salt River hosted Scottsdale on Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League, the final game of the day was expected to be a pitchers' duel. But after early exits for both power pitchers, both of whom are the top prospect in their organizations, power bats took over the game Tuesday.

Led by Yankees prospects Greg Bird and Tyler Austin, Scottsdale outslugged Salt River, 7-4.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Ryan has strong internal pool, but will also look outside

Molitor considered a frontrunner in Twins manager search; Mientkiewicz a possibility

Ryan has strong internal pool, but will also look outside

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Twins general manager Terry Ryan described his ideal candidate to replace Ron Gardenhire as manager, he left the door open on bringing in a fresh voice from outside of the organization.

But he also hinted that finding a manager from within the organization would be a preference, and one week after parting ways with Gardenhire, the Twins have yet to interview any potential skippers from outside the organization. Ryan has reportedly only interviewed Twins coach Paul Molitor and Class A Fort Myers manager Doug Mientkiewicz, but will interview more candidates from both inside and outside the organization in the coming weeks.

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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.

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O's bench coach expected to interview for Twins' opening

Russell has worked for Orioles for four years, formerly managed in Pittsburgh

BALTIMORE -- Orioles bench coach John Russell is expected to interview for the Minnesota Twins' managerial opening, although nothing has been officially set just yet.

Russell, who has a good relationship with Twins GM Terry Ryan, won't be available to teams to interview until the Orioles' season is over. He has served as the O's bench coach since June 2011 -- a position he moved to as a result of knee issues -- after starting that season as the third-base coach.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Gardenhire dismissed by Twins after 13 seasons

Managed team to six division titles; only Kelly has more wins as Minnesota skipper

Gardenhire dismissed by Twins after 13 seasons

MINNEAPOLIS -- After 13 seasons and six American League Central championships, Ron Gardenhire is out as Twins manager after a fourth straight season with at least 90 losses, the club announced Monday. It has not been decided if he will accept an offer to take an undisclosed position in the organization, as he hasn't ruled out managing elsewhere.

The Twins will look both inside and outside the organization for a replacement for Gardenhire, and the coaching staff will be determined by the new manager in conjunction with general manager Terry Ryan. The contracts of all of seven of Minnesota's coaches expire at year's end, but some could be retained by the new skipper. Gardenhire, 56, had one more year remaining on a two-year he deal signed before the 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.

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Buxton goes 1-for-4 in Salt River win

Baseball's top prospect Buxton goes 1-for-4 for Salt River

Buxton goes 1-for-4 in Salt River win

While many of his Salt River teammates got to rest during September between the end of the Minor League season and the start of the Arizona Fall League, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani was busy working out of the Marlins bullpen. He pitched in six games, ending the season with 5 1/3 scoreless innings over five appearances.

Saturday, DeSclafani returned to his typical role as a starter, as Salt River visited Glendale. He held the Desert Dogs to one run in three innings and the Rafters went on to win, 2-1. Since an Opening Day loss, they have won four straight games.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Prospects Chargois, Reed flourishing at Twins instructs

Young relievers offer glimpse at potentially dominant bullpen of the future

Prospects Chargois, Reed flourishing at Twins instructs

It's been a long road back for J.T. Chargois, but if his current performance at instructs is any indication, it will have been a worthwhile journey.

Chargois, initially drafted by the Twins in the second round of the 2012 Draft, hasn't thrown a competitive pitch since his summer debut, when he closed games for the Appalachian League champion Elizabethton Twins. He didn't make it out of Extended Spring Training in 2013 and when rest and rehab didn't work, the Rice University product had Tommy John surgery in September of that year, forcing him out for all of the 2014 campaign.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Pipeline Perspectives: Callis eager to see healthy Buxton in Fall League

Baseball's top prospect, White Sox hurler look to prove they're fully recovered from injuries

Pipeline Perspectives: Callis eager to see healthy Buxton in Fall League

There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye to eye. They discuss their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

The Minor League season came to an end in September, but several of baseball's brightest prospects will still play games that count in October and November. They'll head to the Arizona Fall League, the finishing school for young talent that has produced 212 All-Stars (including 36 this year alone), 25 Rookies of the Year, 12 MVPs and four Cy Young Award winners since it started in 1992.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Twins brass says it was hard to dismiss Gardenhire

Twins brass says it was hard to dismiss Gardenhire

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins owner Jim Pohlad and club president Dave St. Peter were unable to attend Monday's news conference announcing Ron Gardenhire's dismissal as the manager, but they reiterated it was a tough decision to move on from Gardenhire.

Pohlad and St. Peter, speaking in a teleconference with reporters Monday night, said they worked with general manager Terry Ryan and ultimately supported Ryan's decision to go in a different direction with their manager after four straight years with 90-plus losses.

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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.

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Twins players laud Gardy for his 13 years at helm

Twins players laud Gardy for his 13 years at helm

MINNEAPOLIS -- While the Twins struggled through four straight years with at least 90 losses, manager Ron Gardenhire never lost the support of the players in the clubhouse.

Gardenhire was dismissed as manager on Monday after 13 years at the helm, but Twins players had nothing but positive things to say about their former skipper.

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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.

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Twins, Ryan open up managerial search

Team will look inside and outside organization for Gardenhire replacement

Twins, Ryan open up managerial search

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are in an unfamiliar place, as they'll be looking for a new manager for the first time since 2002 and just the second time since 1986.

Tom Kelly took over for Ray Miller in '86, managing the Twins for 16 seasons before handing it over to Ron Gardenhire, who managed the club for 13 seasons before being dismissed the day after the season ended on Monday.

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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.

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First managerial moves made as offseason begins

Twins dismiss Gardenhire while Astros hire Hinch

First managerial moves made as offseason begins

One day after the regular season ended, the first managerial moves were made on Monday as the Twins dismissed Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons on the job and the Astros named A.J. Hinch their next manager.

And there figures to be more changes in the upcoming days and weeks. After all, coaches are usually the first casualties following disappointing seasons.

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

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Plouffe has arm surgery, will be ready for spring

Plouffe has arm surgery, will be ready for spring

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe underwent surgery on his fractured left forearm on Monday but will be ready for Spring Training next year, general manager Terry Ryan said.

Plouffe sustained the injury on Wednesday, when he tried to tag A.J. Pollock as Pollock slid into third base on a stolen-base attempt, with Pollock's knee colliding into Plouffe's left forearm.

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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.

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Rotation issues overshadow offensive breakout in 2014

Rotation issues overshadow offensive breakout in 2014

MINNEAPOLIS -- After losing at least 96 games in each of the previous three seasons, the Twins had much higher hopes for 2014.

They tried to bolster their rotation in the offseason by signing Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey to a combined $84 million worth, while also adding veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki on a one-year, $2.75 million contract. But while the Hughes and Suzuki additions worked out, the rotation was still a mess, leading to a fourth straight year with at least 90 losses and a last place finish in the American League Central for the third time in four seasons, which led to a managerial change, as Ron Gardenhire will be replaced next 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.

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New arrivals: Youngsters ready to lead Twins?

New arrivals: Youngsters ready to lead Twins?

MINNEAPOLIS -- The 2014 season was expected to be a bridge year to competitive baseball for the Twins, but it didn't work out that way due to the ineptitude of the rotation and injuries to top prospects such as Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton.

The Twins realistically weren't going to win the American League Central, but were looking for a big improvement over their three consecutive seasons with 96-plus losses to set themselves up for the future with several top prospects on the way.

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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.

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Twins fall short in final chance at playing spoiler

Gibson gives solid effort in matchup with Price as Tigers clinch

Twins fall short in final chance at playing spoiler

DETROIT -- Last year, the Twins had to watch three different teams celebrate clinching a postseason berth en route to losing 96 games for a second straight season.

This year, the Twins only had to witness one, and it came on the last day of the season. Minnesota couldn't keep the Tigers from celebrating their fourth straight American League Central crown despite a strong effort from Kyle Gibson, as he was outdueled by David Price in a 3-0 loss on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.

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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.

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Pesky Twins keep Tigers' celebration on hold

Escobar collects career-high six RBIs, contributing to six-run fifth

Pesky Twins keep Tigers' celebration on hold

DETROIT -- The Twins can't seem to stop scoring against the Tigers this season.

The Twins were spoilers yet again on Saturday night, as Ricky Nolasco threw six strong innings and was backed by a six-run fifth inning and a career-high six RBIs from Eduardo Escobar to hand the first-place Tigers a 12-3 loss at Comerica Park in the penultimate game of the regular 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.

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Twins set second opinion for Plouffe's arm fracture

Expected to be ready by spring, third baseman unlikely to need surgery

Twins set second opinion for Plouffe's arm fracture

DETROIT -- Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe will get a second opinion on his fractured left forearm on Monday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Plouffe, who sustained the injury on Wednesday as he tried to tag Arizona's A.J. Pollock on a slide into third base, saw Dr. Thomas Varecka in Minnesota on Thursday. Plouffe was told he won't need surgery and will need to wear a cast for six to eight weeks, but the Twins want to get a second opinion just in case.

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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.

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Twins pounce on Tigers early, cruise to blowout

Arcia, Dozier each go deep, drive in three runs to dent Detroit's plans

Twins pounce on Tigers early, cruise to blowout

DETROIT -- The Twins would much rather be in contention this late in the season, but they've been a thorn in the Tigers' side all year and it was no different Friday night.

The Twins played the role of spoiler to perfection, as the offense knocked out Rick Porcello in the fourth inning en route to handing the first-place Tigers an 11-4 loss in the third-to-last game of the season at Comerica Park. Minnesota is 9-8 against Detroit, averaging 6.3 runs per game in those contests to help them to their most wins against the Tigers since 2009.

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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.

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