Backed by six-run 2nd, Nolasco wins No. 100

Backed by six-run 2nd, Nolasco wins No. 100

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Nolasco picked up career win No. 100 with a season-high 7 2/3 innings, and was backed by a six-run second inning from the Twins in a 7-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday afternoon at Target Field.

Nolasco retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced, and gave up two runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking none. The right-hander improved to 5-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five starts since missing nearly a month with right elbow inflammation. It helped the Twins improve to a season-high eight games above .500 at 26-18.

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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. Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense keeps clicking with six-run second

Twins 19-6 when scoring first, which they've done in eight straight games

Offense keeps clicking with six-run second

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins just keep finding ways to score early, and it was again the case in a 7-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday at Target Field.

Minnesota knocked Boston right-hander Joe Kelly out of the game after just 1 1/3 innings, scoring six runs in the second inning. It marked the eighth straight game the Twins scored first, and they're 6-2 over that span. The Twins are 19-6 when they score before their opponent, and it's helped them to a surprising start with a 26-18 record that has them second in the American League Central.

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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.

Nolasco savors career milestone

Twins righty sharp in notching 100th victory

Nolasco savors career milestone

MINNEAPOLIS -- Shortly after defeating the Red Sox on Monday, starter Ricky Nolasco was in the Twins' clubhouse dancing for his teammates.

And while Nolasco's dancing skills admittedly might not be up to par, the righty had plenty of success on the mound, giving up just two runs in 7 2/3 innings and securing his 100th career victory in Minnesota's 7-2 win.

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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.

Fien, Arcia could return this week

Milone, Vargas thriving at Triple-A Rochester

Fien, Arcia could return this week

MINNEAPOLIS -- With reliever Casey Fien and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia on rehab assignments with Triple-A Rochester, and both left-hander Tommy Milone and designated hitter Kennys Vargas faring well there, Twins manager Paul Molitor said he's been in regular contact with general manager Terry Ryan about the roster.

Fien, on the DL since April 30 with a right shoulder strain, made his first rehab appearance Saturday, and is scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday. Arcia, who has been on the DL since May 4 with a right hip pointer strain, is with Rochester and is expected to play Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Both could return later this week.

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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, Twins out to secure series win in middle game

Pelfrey, Twins out to secure series win in middle game

The Red Sox and Twins entered their series as arguably two of the most surprising teams in the American League.

After a slew of offseason moves, the Red Sox were projected by many to lead the AL East. Instead, they're hovering around .500. The Twins, on the other hand, have thrust themselves into early playoff contention, rebounding from a 1-6 start with consistent play to stay near the top of the competitive AL Central.

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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 riding wave of momentum, confidence

After 4-1 road trip, club owns best record in May

Twins riding wave of momentum, confidence

CHICAGO -- The Twins just keep rolling.

Powered by two homers from Brian Dozier and eight solid innings from right-hander Kyle Gibson, the Twins earned a series win against the White Sox with an 8-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. The Twins went 4-1 on their road trip through Pittsburgh and Chicago en route to an American League-best record of 15-6 in May.

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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.

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Jonathan Mayo

Buxton, Kepler on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Top phenom raised average 26 points, drove in eight runs

Buxton, Kepler on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

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.

Reports of Byron Buxton's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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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.

Dozier's 2 HRs power Twins past White Sox

Dozier's 2 HRs power Twins past White Sox

CHICAGO -- A four-run fourth inning was more than enough support for starter Kyle Gibson, as the Twins defeated the White Sox on Sunday, 8-1. Gibson worked eight innings and struck out eight -- tying a career high -- without a walk to cruise to the win.

Second baseman Brian Dozier hit two home runs and drove in four runs to pace the Twins, and right fielder Eddie Rosario added two hits and two RBIs.

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Greg Garno is an associate 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.

May flowers in festive atmosphere

Righty fans 9 over 7 innings under unique circumstances

May flowers in festive atmosphere

CHICAGO -- With a sold-out crowd and a 3:40 p.m. CT start at U.S. Cellular Field because of Paul Konerko's jersey retirement ceremony, Twins right-hander Trevor May took advantage of the atmosphere and the shadows to outduel White Sox ace Chris Sale on Saturday.

May went a career-high seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits with a season-high nine strikeouts to help lead the Twins to a 4-3 win. May was efficient, as he didn't walk a batter and needed just 80 pitches to get through seven.

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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 ride May, HRs past White Sox

Twins ride May, HRs past White Sox

CHICAGO -- Minnesota starter Trevor May had never thrown more than five strikeouts this season, but on Saturday, he struck out nine to help the Twins beat the White Sox, 4-3. May went seven innings without a walk and allowed six hits to keep the White Sox offense at bay.

Chicago's offense left six men on base, unable to make up an early deficit in full after the third inning. The White Sox are averaging 2.33 runs in their last six games, four of which have been losses.

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Greg Garno is a contributor to 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.

Fien, Arcia rehabbing with Triple-A Rochester

Decisions on reliever, outfielder to come later in the week

Fien, Arcia rehabbing with Triple-A Rochester

aCHICAGO -- Reliever Casey Fien tossed a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Rochester on Saturday night, while outfielder Oswaldo Arcia joined Rochester to start a rehab assignment of his own on Sunday.

Fien, on the 15-day disabled list since April 30 with a right shoulder strain, walked a batter in his first rehab appearance but didn't allow a hit. The plan is for him to pitch in back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then the Twins will determine whether he's ready to be activated or if he needs more time at Triple-A, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said.

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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.

Mauer gets a day off to rest

Started 40 of first 41 games; to play Sunday

Mauer gets a day off to rest

CHICAGO -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer started 40 of the club's first 41 games, but he was held out of the lineup for the second time this season on Saturday against the White Sox.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said Mauer is healthy, but it was just a scheduled day off for Mauer to keep him fresh. Mauer is hitting .283/.339/.384 with a team-leading 25 RBIs in 40 games. He's fared well against White Sox lefty Chris Sale, hitting .296/.321/.370 with three RBIs in 27 at-bats, but was still held out of the lineup.

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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.

Hughes shows signs he's regaining old form

Twins starter keeps it close, but offense goes into funk vs. Samardzija

Hughes shows signs he's regaining old form

CHICAGO -- Phil Hughes is starting to show signs that he's regaining his form from last season after a slow start, but he still came away unsatisfied after a 3-2 loss to the White Sox on Friday.

The right-hander gave up just two runs over seven innings for a second straight start, but was irked by a play he failed to make in the fourth. He couldn't field a slow roller from J.B. Shuck with two outs, and Geovany Soto followed with a game-tying, two-run double down the left-field line.

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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.

Hughes sharp but bats go quiet vs. Samardzija

Hughes sharp but bats go quiet vs. Samardzija

Chicago -- Right fielder J.B. Shuck wasn't supposed to start Friday night, but his sacrifice fly to deep center in the eighth inning proved to be the go-ahead run in Chicago's 3-2 victory over the Indians.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura scratched right fielder Avisail Garcia with right knee inflammation after batting practice, replacing him with Shuck at the last minute. Shuck finished with two hits and a run scored on top of his sacrifice fly.

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

Top prospect Meyer to have stint in bullpen

Righty struggled as Triple-A starter with 7.09 ERA

Top prospect Meyer to have stint in bullpen

CHICAGO -- Top prospect Alex Meyer is headed to the bullpen at Triple-A Rochester, the Twins announced Friday.

Meyer, ranked as the No. 28 overall prospect by MLB.com, was struggling as a starter, posting a 7.09 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 24 walks in 39 1/3 innings. His walk rate of 5.5 batters per nine innings is a career worst.

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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.

Stauffer activated from DL, rejoins Twins 'pen

Stauffer activated from DL, rejoins Twins 'pen

CHICAGO -- Reliever Tim Stauffer was officially activated from the 15-day disabled list before Friday's game against the White Sox, a day after infielder Doug Bernier was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

Stauffer, who was out with a right intercostal strain since May 1, made four rehab appearances with Triple-A Rochester. He gave up three runs over five innings, including a pair of homers.

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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.

Boyer's resurgence has Twins confident late

Since early-season funk, righty has handled eighth-inning role with ease

Boyer's resurgence has Twins confident late

PITTSBURGH -- It's been quite a transformation for Twins reliever Blaine Boyer.

After posting a 15.00 ERA through his first four outings, the right-hander turned it around to toss 17 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up a solo homer to Pirates star Andrew McCutchen in Wednesday's 4-3, 13-inning win. Boyer has been a key part of the Twins' surprising 23-17 start to the season, as he's been lights-out in the eighth inning while Casey Fien recovers from a right shoulder strain on the 15-day disabled list.

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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.

Mauer picks good time for first homer of 2015

Mauer picks good time for first homer of 2015

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Mauer picked an opportune time for his first homer of the year.

Mauer, who hadn't homered since Aug. 17, connected on a go-ahead solo blast in the 13th inning to lift the Twins to a 4-3 win over the Pirates on Wednesday night.

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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.

Mauer powers Twins to extra-innings win over Pirates

Mauer powers Twins to extra-innings win over Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Mauer picked the right moment for his first home run of the season, ripping a solo shot to right field in the 13th inning and sending the Twins to a 4-3 win over the Pirates at PNC Park on Wednesday night.

The Twins jumped out to a three-run lead in the first but let the Pirates creep back into the game before trading zeros for three extra frames. Mauer finally broke through against Pirates lefty Antonio Bastardo, lining an 0-1 pitch into the right-field stands, his first homer since Aug. 17.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. 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.

Fien, Arcia ready to begin rehab assignments

Fien, Arcia ready to begin rehab assignments

PITTSBURGH -- Twins reliever Casey Fien threw a bullpen session at Target Field without any issues on Wednesday, and is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.

Fien, on the 15-day disabled list since April 30 with a right shoulder strain, previously threw a bullpen session on Sunday. The Twins haven't announced how many rehab appearances Fien will need before returning, but he's expected to be activated before the end of the month.

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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 prospects thrive for Double-A Chattanooga Wednesday night

Huge night for top Twins prospects, including two triples for No. 1 prospect Byron Buxton

Twins prospects thrive for Double-A Chattanooga Wednesday night

The Twins received standout performances from five of their Top 30 prospects in the same game Wednesday night.

No. 1 prospect (No. 1 overall ) Byron Buxton led the Double-A Chattanooga charge with a pair of triples, putting him on top of the Minor Leagues with nine this year. No. 2 prospect (No. 12 overall) Miguel Sano added two doubles, while No. 13 prospect Adam Brett Walker and No. 15 prospect Max Kepler contributed a home run each.

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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.

Aaron Hicks singles after pitcher plays soccer

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Aaron Hicks singles after pitcher plays soccer

After being called up to the Twins last week, outfielder Aaron Hicks has seven hits in seven games. The seventh came during the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 8-5 win over the Pirates, when reliever Jared Hughes seemed to have momentarily hallucinated that he was playing soccer.

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Twins' offense strikes early against Liriano

Twins' offense strikes early against Liriano

PITTSBURGH -- It was a version of left-hander Francisco Liriano the Twins had seen plenty of times before.

But this time, fortunately for Minnesota, it came in a Pirates uniform, as he struggled against his former team in an 8-5 win for the Twins. Liriano, who pitched with the Twins from 2005-2012, lasted just two innings, giving up seven runs on five hits and two walks.

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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.

Six-run second inning leads Twins past Bucs

Six-run second inning leads Twins past Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- The Twins used a six-run second inning to build up a big lead against former Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano and held on to beat the Pirates, 8-5, at PNC Park on Tuesday night.

Liriano, who pitched for the Twins from 2005-12, gave up seven runs on five hits, including two homers, in only two innings of work. Minnesota sent nine batters to the plate in the second, when Joe Mauer drove in three runs on a single to left and Trevor Plouffe added two more with a homer to left-center field.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.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.

Joe Mauer drove in three runs on a ground-ball single

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Joe Mauer drove in three runs on a ground-ball single

OK, here's a riddle for you: The bases are loaded and Joe Mauer's at the plate. Mauer hits a single and three runs score. No, Mauer did not hurt himself rounding first base. And no, there were zero errors on the play. How does such a thing happen? 

Well ...

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Buxton hits grand slam in Chattanooga win

Baseball's No. 1 prospect hits fifth homer of season, swipes 11th base

Buxton hits grand slam in Chattanooga win

While Byron Buxton's average sits at .240 after a slow start to the season, the game's top prospect continues to fill up the stat sheet and produce runs, as evidenced by his performance on Tuesday night, when he went 2-for-5 with a grand slam, a stolen base and two runs scored to lead Double-A Chattanooga to a 10-3 win over Montgomery.

The Twins' No. 1 prospect took Biscuits right-hander Jared Mortensen deep with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.to put the Lookouts up, 8-2. Buxton's slam was part of an impressive team performance that saw every Chattanooga starter reach base, and all but one score at least one run.

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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.