SEATTLE -- Over a 21-year Major League playing career that covered 10,835 at-bats, along with 16 years as a manager or coach, Twins manager Paul Molitor said he had never seen a play quite like the one that preserved the Twins 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Friday night.
"Not to end the game," he said. "A lot of it blurs together over about four decades I guess, but to record a double play where there's not a force in order like that in a situation where the tying run's 90 feet away, it's just a bizarre ending. We haven't caught a lot of breaks, and we caught one there at the end tonight for sure."
SEATTLE -- Miguel Sano homered for the third straight game and drove in three runs as the Twins topped the Mariners, 6-5, Saturday night in a game that ended on a wild double play in the ninth.
The Twins tagged Mariners starter Wade Miley with three home runs -- two-run blasts by Sano and Joe Mauer and a solo shot by Eduardo Nunez -- as Seattle's southpaw lasted just four-plus innings while giving up six hits and five runs with four walks.
SEATTLE -- Interim Twins pitching coach Eric Rasmussen still is evaluating his new role, but a quarter century of organizational familiarity makes the transition a bit smoother.
"I know most of these guys," said Rasmussen, who had been the Twins minor league pitching coordinator. "A lot of these guys came through our system. And, I'm familiar with the guys from spring training. It's basically to get to know the guys I don't know so well, and then what can I do to help you and go from there."
A pair of pitchers looking to right themselves will square off in the series finale between the Twins and Mariners on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.
Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-4, 2.70 ERA) was 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts in April, but is 0-4 with a 3.96 ERA in five May starts, though eight of the 19 runs he's allowed in that span have been unearned.
SEATTLE -- It seemed like a pretty brutal assignment for the Twins' Pat Dean in his second Major League start, but baseball has an odd way of taking expectations and flipping them upside-down.
Friday's task looked daunting from just about every angle. Dean, a 27-year-old left-hander who had been in the Minor Leagues for seven years prior to his call-up earlier this season, had only started a big league game once, and it came six days earlier against the Blue Jays.
SEATTLE -- Left-hander Pat Dean, making just his second Major League start, outpitched Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Friday night as the Twins topped Seattle, 7-2, at Safeco Field.
Dean, 27, recorded his first big-league victory as he gave up just four hits and two runs with no walks and eight strikeouts over seven innings. The Twins (13-34) have now won two straight for just the second time this month, thanks to home runs by Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer and a five-run outburst in the third inning against Hernandez.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins entered the season with playoff aspirations after just missing out on the postseason last year, but things have gone worse than anyone could've expected.
The Twins have the worst record in the Majors at 12-34, and have lost eight of their past 10 games. They aren't getting it done offensively, ranking last in American League in runs scored, and they also aren't pitching well, as they have the second-worst ERA in the Majors. It's been a step back for Minnesota after last year's surprising season, and there are lots of questions to be answered. With that in mind, here's this week's Twins Inbox:
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins entered Wednesday's game against the Royals with an almost unthinkable 0-17 record against the division-rival Royals, Tigers and White Sox.
But the Twins were able to snap an eight-game losing streak to Kansas City with a 7-5 win powered by homers from Eduardo Nunez, Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano. Right-hander Tyler Duffey labored through a five-run fourth inning and was able to last 6 2/3 innings to become the first Twins starter to get a second win in the club's 46th game of the year.
By Rhett Bollinger and Jeffrey Flanagan
MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Nunez, Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano homered to help the Twins avoid a sweep at the hands of the Royals with a 7-5 victory in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.
The Twins jumped on right-hander Dillon Gee early, as Nunez and Dozier hit back-to-back homers to open the top of the first. Sano later gave the Twins the lead in the fifth with a two-run shot to knock Gee from the game. Gee lasted four-plus innings, surrendering six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and a walk.
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the bullpen being overworked the last few weeks, the Twins opted to select the contract of lefty reliever Buddy Boshers on Wednesday, placing outfielder Darin Mastroianni on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. To make room for Boshers on the 40-man roster, closer Glen Perkins was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Boshers, who was signed to a Minor League deal in the offseason, posted a 1.42 ERA with 21 strikeouts and five walks in 19 innings with Triple-A Rochester. It's his first time in the Majors since 2013, when he posted a 4.70 ERA in 25 appearances with the Angels.
By Rhett Bollinger and Jeffrey Flanagan
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lorenzo Cain tied a career high with four hits, while Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer to lift the Royals to a 7-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field. Kansas City won its fourth straight series and notched its eighth straight victory against Minnesota, which has lost eight of its last nine games.
Cain, who had four hits for the 10th time in his career, also drove in two runs. Perez, who had a career-high five hits on Monday, hit a second-inning homer off former teammate Ervin Santana.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After Ricky Nolasco lasted 2 2/3 innings in Monday's series opener against Royals, the Twins were hoping for Ervin Santana to pitch deep into Tuesday night's game.
But it didn't work out that way, as Santana went 3 2/3 frames, putting the Twins in an early hole by giving up six runs on nine hits and two walks. Relievers Michael Tonkin, Ryan Pressly, Brandon Kintzler and Fernando Abad combined to give up one run over 5 1/3 innings, but it wasn't enough in a 7-4 loss at Target Field.
Rhys Hoskins has hit his share of home runs this season, but none have been bigger than the walk-off grand slam he hit Tuesday to lead Double-A Reading past Erie, 11-9.
The Fightin' Phils (30-15) loaded the bases in the ninth inning on a pair of walks and a single to set the stage for Hoskins, who blasted right-hander Paul Voelker's 1-0 offering over the wall in left-center field to win the game. The home run was the Phillies' No. 19 prospect's eighth in 42 games this season. He's hitting .263 with 30 runs scored and 30 RBIs on the season.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins general manager Terry Ryan has made it known he remains behind manager Paul Molitor despite Minnesota having the worst record in the Majors, but Ryan also said he supports the entire coaching staff.
The Twins entered Tuesday's game against the Royals last in the American League with 156 runs scored and a 5.03 ERA through 44 games. But based on Ryan's comments, it doesn't appear any changes are coming soon to coaches such as with hitting coach Tom Brunansky or pitching coach Neil Allen.
By Rhett Bollinger and Jeffrey Flanagan
MINNEAPOLIS -- Salvador Perez was a homer shy of the cycle, going a career-best 5-for-5 with a double and a triple, to help lead the Royals to a 10-4 win over the Twins on Monday night at Target Field.
Perez, who also scored three runs and drove in another, became the first Royals player with five hits in a game since Billy Butler on Sept. 5, 2013. But he was far from the only player to contribute offensively, as all nine Royals starters had a hit. Omar Infante had three RBIs, while Paulo Orlando and Jarrod Dyson each drove in two runs.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Paul Molitor is willing to be patient with Miguel Sano in his first season in right field and understands mistakes will happen as Sano makes the transition from the infield.
But it was a different situation in Monday night's 10-4 loss to the Royals, as Sano didn't hustle to a ball that hit off the right-field wall and ended up as a triple for catcher Salvador Perez in the sixth inning.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins activated shortstop Eduardo Escobar from the 15-day disabled list before Monday's 10-4 loss to the Royals, and optioned infielder Jorge Polanco to Triple-A Rochester.
Escobar, who was on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain, played in three rehab games with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, going 4-for-11 with a double, a triple and a walk. Escobar returned to the lineup at shortstop on Monday, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Eduardo Nunez got the start at second base over Brian Dozier, but Nunez went 0-for-5.
Tons of couples get creative when it's time to announce a new addition to the family. Some opt for clever photos revealing the news to loved ones, while others take grander steps -- which is exactly what Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph and his wife Jordan did on Monday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After going 1-for-16 in the Twins' four-game series against the Blue Jays that saw his average tumble to .199, second baseman Brian Dozier woke up on Monday morning to a phone call from his former teammate Torii Hunter.
Dozier, who has tried to assert himself as the club's leader in Hunter's absence, admitted it's been tough trying to lead while also struggling at the plate. Dozier wouldn't delve too deeply into the specifics of Hunter's advice, but said the conversation was about the mental side of the game and what Dozier can do to be a better leader.
Twenty-three former All-Stars. The winningest pitcher in postseason history. Three pitchers who tossed perfect games. A Most Valuable Player, a Rookie of the Year, a Hall of Fame manager and a Hall of Fame broadcaster.
They will be among team representatives on the floor at MLB Network's Studio 42 when the 2016 MLB Draft gets underway on June 9.
Hughes settles after 1st, but no Twins rally this time
By Rhett Bollinger and Dan Myers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Marcus Stroman limited the Twins to three hits over 7 2/3 strong innings, and he was backed by consecutive homers to open the game from Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson to lift the Blue Jays to a 3-1 win on Sunday at Target Field.
Stroman, who walked two and struck out three, entered the eighth having allowed just one hit. Kurt Suzuki and Danny Santana opened the inning with back-to-back singles, but Stroman was able to get Brian Dozier to ground into a double play. Closer Roberto Osuna came in and induced a fly ball to center on the first pitch to Eduardo Nunez to get out of the inning unscathed. Osuna tossed a scoreless ninth to register his ninth save of the year, and his second four-out save.
Dan Myers is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Blue Jays on Sunday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Walker on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week
By Mike Rosenbaum
MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.
The latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week, for the week of May 16-22, is highlighted by a trio of 20-year-old prospects in Willy Adames, Cody Bellinger and Jamie Westbrook, all of whom have excelled this season against older competition in their first tastes of the Double-A level.