Hughes looks to keep up winning trend vs. KC

Hughes looks to keep up winning trend vs. KC

After Saturday's game was rained out, the Twins will look to continue their early-season success against the Royals on Sunday, when right-hander Phil Hughes starts opposite Kansas City right-hander Jason Hammel. Both starters were pushed back a day after the postponed game, which will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on July 1.

Hughes (3-1, 4.71 ERA) is coming off a solid start against the Rangers, limiting them to two runs over six innings. Hammel (0-2, 5.30 ERA) also faced Texas his last time out, but lasted just three innings, surrendering three runs on four hits and three walks.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Rain postpones Saturday's Twins-Royals game

Game rescheduled for July 1 as nightcap of split doubleheader

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' scheduled game on Saturday night with the Twins at Kauffman Stadium was postponed due to rain.

The game has been rescheduled for July 1 at 7:35 p.m. CT as the second game of a split doubleheader. The first game that day will start at 1:15 p.m., with the Kauffman Stadium parking lots cleared between games.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Locked in' Sano shows off power in win

Twins third baseman goes 2-for-4 with four RBIs vs. Royals

'Locked in' Sano shows off power in win

KANSAS CITY -- It's becoming more and more apparent that Miguel Sano is developing into the powerful slugger the Twins hoped he'd become after a bit of a sophomore slump last year following a breakout rookie season.

Sano entered Friday with the highest average exit velocity in the Majors by nearly 3 mph, and only added to it with a two-run homer and a game-tying double in the eighth to lead the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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 rally on clutch doubles by Sano, Mauer

Twins rally on clutch doubles by Sano, Mauer

KANSAS CITY -- Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer hit back-to-back two-run doubles in a four-run eighth inning as the Twins rallied for a 6-4 win Friday night over the Royals, who lost their eighth straight game.

Royals reliever Joakim Soria, who hadn't allowed a run in nine previous appearances, gave up an infield single to Eddie Rosario just out of second baseman Whit Merrifield's reach, and a walk to Byron Buxton before striking out Brian Dozier. But Max Kepler reached on an error on a line drive to right fielder Jorge Bonifacio, loading the bases.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mejia fires seven scoreless for Rochester

Mejia fires seven scoreless for Rochester

Francisco Mejia has already piled up plenty of hits for Double-A Akron this season, but it wasn't until Friday night that the Indians' No. 2 prospect entered the home run column, connecting on a solo shot in the ninth inning of the RubberDucks' 6-1 win over Bowie. Mejia, ranked 36th on MLBPipeline.com's list of the Top 100 Prospects, collected three hits in a game for the first time this season, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of singles in addition to the home run.

The 20-year-old catcher, who had his season-opening 13-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday, is batting .355/.391/.548 through 20 games this season in his first Double-A exposure.

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

Plate umpire Bucknor exits game after foul tip

Plate umpire Bucknor exits game after foul tip

KANSAS CITY -- Home-plate umpire CB Bucknor left the Twins' 6-4 victory over the Royals Friday night in the eighth inning after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip from Minnesota third baseman Miguel Sano.

With the bases loaded and one out, Sano fouled back on a 92.9 mph fastball from reliever Joakim Soria that directly hit Bucknor in his mask. Bucknor went to his knees and was looked at by a Royals trainer. Bucknor, however, was not showing signs of a concussion after the game, but will be evaluated Saturday, according to the Royals' public-relations staff.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Santiago placed on bereavement list

Twins recall lefty reliever Boshers from Triple-A

Santiago placed on bereavement list

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins recalled reliever Buddy Boshers from Triple-A Rochester on Friday, as left-hander Hector Santiago was placed on the bereavement list after the death of his grandmother.

Santiago's grandmother, Manuela "Nelly" Rivera, passed away Tuesday at the age of 80, and he'll miss this weekend's series against the Royals before returning to make his scheduled start Tuesday against the A's. The Twins decided to bring up a third lefty reliever in Boshers, giving them a nine-man bullpen for the three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Soft contact, hot start: Low ERA for Santana

73.6 percent poor-contact rate third among starters

Soft contact, hot start: Low ERA for Santana

Five starts into his 13th season in the big leagues, Ervin Santana has allowed a mere three earned runs and is carrying a 0.77 ERA, the lowest mark in the Major Leagues. Given that Santana has made a career out of being more of a solid mid-rotation starter than an ace, and that he's got by far the lowest Batting Average on Balls In Play mark in the Major Leagues at .129, the obvious question is: "Has he really been good, or has he just been lucky?" 

This early in the season, the correct answer to that is really "both." Five starts don't carry more weight than more than a decade of pitching, and as we investigated using Statcast™ earlier this year, the Twins' outfield was positioned to add far more defensive support than it did last year. Santana obviously won't carry a 0.77 ERA for too much longer. But what we can say is that at least so far, he's earned a lot more of that mark than you might think. Santana has legitimately been an elite pitcher for the season's first month.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Is Polanco staking claim on short?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers questions from Twins fans

Inbox: Is Polanco staking claim on short?

KANSAS CITY -- Despite losing seven of their past 10, the Twins have been able to hang around .500 after taking two out of three in Texas as Ervin Santana continued to look like an ace, while Phil Hughes and Hector Santiago were both solid.

Miguel Sano has been carrying the offense, and youngsters Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler have contributed. There are plenty of questions about this team, however, which leads us to this week's Twins Inbox.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Escobar homers in finale loss to Rangers

Escobar homers in finale loss to Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Ryan Rua hit his first career grand slam in an eight-run eighth inning to help cap off the Rangers' 14-3 comeback win over the Twins on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.

Eduardo Escobar's two-run home run in the second gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead before the Rangers came back in the middle innings. Rua's grand slam and a three-run home run by Shin-Soo Choo were the final blows in the Rangers' big eighth inning.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas that covered the Twins on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins' bullpen has rare off night

Twins' bullpen has rare off night

ARLINGTON -- One of the steadier bullpens in baseball suddenly became extremely wild in the sixth inning Wednesday night, as the Twins missed a chance to sweep the Rangers in a 14-3 loss.

And when Minnesota's relievers did find the plate late in the game, Texas' hitters pounced. The Rangers scored eight runs in the eighth inning, boosted by a Ryan Rua grand slam, and battered the Twins' bullpen in its roughest collective performance of the season.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santiago starts with late grandmother on mind

Twins' left-hander will go on bereavement list during series vs. Royals

Santiago starts with late grandmother on mind

ARLINGTON -- Twins lefty Hector Santiago started Wednesday's game against the Rangers with the memory of his late grandmother on his mind. Manuela "Nelly" Rivera passed away Tuesday at the age of 80, and Santiago said in a pregame statement that she will be remembered for her bravery and integrity in raising eight kids in Newark, N.J.

"No matter what, she was always upbeat and positive and always took the high road, always trying to support people and motivate them," Santiago said. "A very high-energy, happy person. Every time you saw her, no matter what the situation was, she had a smile on her face."

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

Sano sparkles at plate, in field in Twins' rout

Sano sparkles at plate, in field in Twins' rout

ARLINGTON -- Miguel Sano put on a showcase performance at the plate and in the field Tuesday in the Twins' 8-1 victory over the Rangers, hitting a soaring homer that started a huge inning and making some nifty plays at third base.

So which mattered more to the slugger?

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins ride hot Santana, big inning past Texas

Twins ride hot Santana, big inning past Texas

ARLINGTON -- Twins pitcher Ervin Santana continues to build on one of the best starts to a season in his career, holding the Rangers to one run over seven innings in an 8-1 victory at Globe Life Park on Tuesday.

The Twins, who had a season-high 14 hits, have won two straight over the Rangers to start this three-game series. They also have won four straight against the Rangers dating back to last season and 10 of 13 going back to 2015.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Rourke headed for Tommy John surgery

O'Rourke headed for Tommy John surgery

ARLINGTON -- Relievers Ryan O'Rourke and Trevor May both saw Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday. O'Rourke got disappointing news -- the lefty will need to undergo Tommy John surgery -- while May had a positive post-op follow-up with the orthopedist who performed his Tommy John surgery in late March.

O'Rourke was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow a day after he was moved to the 60-day disabled list. He was originally diagnosed with a strained flexor mass but had not progressed much since that diagnosis late in Spring Training.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier double backs Hughes, bullpen vs. Texas

Dozier double backs Hughes, bullpen vs. Texas

ARLINGTON -- Brian Dozier hit a three-run double off Rangers starter Martin Perez and the Twins made it stand up with a 3-2 victory on Monday night at Globe Life Park. The Twins had lost seven of nine at home before opening their six-game road trip with a win and snapping the Rangers' four-game winning streak.

Twins starter Phil Hughes earned the win by holding the Rangers to two runs in six innings. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out two, raising his record to 3-1 with a 4.71 ERA.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins' patience at plate paying off

Twins' patience at plate paying off

ARLINGTON -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier seemed surprised when told, after Monday's 3-2 victory over the Rangers, that his team had drawn more walks than any other MLB team entering Monday.

He shouldn't have been, considering how the Twins' three runs scored Monday. In the fifth inning, the Twins loaded the bases on three walks off Rangers lefty Martin Perez, whom Dozier said was beginning to lose the ability to locate his fastball. Even Byron Buxton, the No. 9 hitter who had been struggling, hitting .109 with just two walks in 58 plate appearances this year, stayed patient and worked a two-out walk off Perez.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano appeals one-game suspension

Sano appeals one-game suspension

ARLINGTON -- The Twins will appeal the one-game suspension Major League Baseball imposed on third baseman Miguel Sano for his aggressive actions in Saturday's game against the Tigers in Detroit.

Sano and Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd were tossed from the game after Boyd threw a pitch behind Sano. Twins pitcher Justin Haley had previously hit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones in the face with a fastball. Sano took issue with Boyd's pitch, walking toward the mound and pointing at Boyd before Tigers catcher James McCann stepped between Sano and the mound. Sano shoved McCann and the benches cleared.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Levine returns to old stomping grounds

Levine returns to old stomping grounds

ARLINGTON -- Sitting in the relatively foreign environs of the visitors' dugout at Globe Life Park, Twins general manager Thad Levine summed up his first trip back to the place he worked for 11 seasons with the Rangers as "emotional."

Levine, 45, worked as assistant GM for the Rangers under GM Jon Daniels from 2005 to 2016.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibson: Time to 'dig deep' amid rough stretch

Right-hander doesn't blame defensive miscues for 4th straight shaky start

Gibson: Time to 'dig deep' amid rough stretch

MINNEAPOLIS -- As a pitch-to-contact sinkerballer, Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson relies on his defense to help him be effective.

But the defense didn't help him on Sunday, and he didn't help himself much either, as he struggled for the fourth straight outing in a 13-4 loss to the Tigers at Target Field. Gibson was hit hard, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings. He's now 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in four starts.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Kepler, Rosario HRs not enough in finale

Kepler, Rosario HRs not enough in finale

MINNEAPOLIS -- Alex Avila hit a two-run homer and three Tigers finished with three hits to back right-hander Michael Fulmer and lead Detroit to a 13-4 win over the Twins on Sunday at Target Field.

The Tigers beat up on right-hander Kyle Gibson, who allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings. He fell to 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Vargas recalled, Boshers optioned after callup

Reliever sent to Triple-A after scoreless appearance in Sunday's loss

Vargas recalled, Boshers optioned after callup

MINNEAPOLIS -- After placing right-hander Justin Haley on the 10-day disabled list and optioning left-hander Adalberto Mejia to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, the Twins recalled first baseman Kennys Vargas and left-handed reliever Buddy Boshers from Rochester on Sunday.

But after Boshers tossed 2 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Kyle Gibson in Sunday's 13-4 loss, he was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester. He surrendered one walk while throwing 30 pitches, and the Twins want another fresh arm for their upcoming series against the Rangers. Lefty Mason Melotakis was a candidate to be called up from Double-A Chattanooga, but instead the Twins placed Ryan O'Rourke (forearm) on the 60-day disabled list on Monday to clear space for right-hander Nick Tepesch, who was called up from Rochester.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Catcher Gimenez keeps it simple on mound

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Catcher Gimenez keeps it simple on mound

Veteran Chris Gimenez is no stranger to the mound. Over the course of a nine-year career and before Sunday, the backup catcher had taken the hill three times, first in 2014 for the Rangers and twice in 2016 for the Indians. So when Twins pitching suffered a tough day during a 13-4 loss to the Tigers on Sunday, skipper Paul Molitor knew that he had a bit of an ace in the hole with Gimenez.

Ryan Pressly was the Twins' sixth pitcher of the game, and after allowing three runs on three hits in the ninth inning, Molitor decided to make the move. He only needed someone to get one more out to end the frame. Enter position player pitching pro Chris Gimenez.

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Polanco, Castro clutch, but Twins fall short

Polanco, Castro clutch, but Twins fall short

MINNEAPOLIS -- In a feisty game that saw the benches clear in the fifth inning after Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd threw behind Miguel Sano, Nicholas Castellanos homered in the third and came through with a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth to lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Twins on Saturday at Target Field.

"That's not how you draw it up, for sure," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We needed a win and we got it."

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano, Polanco displaying defensive prowess

Molitor impressed with infielders' athleticism, range

Sano, Polanco displaying defensive prowess

MINNEAPOLIS -- One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2017 season for the Twins was how third baseman Miguel Sano and shortstop Jorge Polanco would fare defensively.

Sano was making the move back to third base full time after last year's failed experiment in right field, while Polanco played almost exclusively at second base at Triple-A Rochester in 2016 before playing shortstop for the Twins down the stretch. But both have been pleasant surprises, leading to an overall solid defense for Minnesota, which has helped the pitching staff.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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 take advantage of wild Verlander for win

Twins take advantage of wild Verlander for win

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins used a patient approach against Justin Verlander, drawing six walks against the veteran ace, including three as part of a six-run sixth inning capped by a three-run homer from Eddie Rosario in a 6-3 win over the Tigers on Friday night at Target Field.

Verlander, coming off a start in which he gave up nine runs in four innings against the Indians, got through five scoreless frames before it unraveled in the sixth with three straight walks. The six walks he surrendered were the second most in his career, and the most since he walked seven as a rookie in 2006.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Falvey scouts McKay in advance of Draft

Falvey scouts McKay in advance of Draft

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Twins holding the No. 1 pick in the 2017 Draft, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey continues to scout top prospects, and he watched the University of Louisville's Brendan McKay pitch on Friday night.

Falvey, who saw Southern California high schooler Hunter Greene strike out 12 batters on April 8, witnessed McKay struggle against Duke, allowing five runs over six innings in Game 1 of a doubleheader. McKay struck out seven but allowed six hits, including a triple and a homer, and walked three.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Bullpen coughs up lead in loss to Indians

Bullpen coughs up lead in loss to Indians

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Bauer threw 6 1/3 solid innings, and Carlos Santana connected on a pair of RBI doubles to lift the Indians to a three-game sweep over the Twins with a 6-2 win on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

Cleveland trailed by a run heading into the seventh after another strong outing from Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, but rallied for three runs. Carlos Santana tied it with an RBI double off lefty Taylor Rogers, who walked Michael Brantley for the go-ahead run after an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor. The Indians got an insurance run on another bases-loaded walk from Jose Ramirez.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Indians on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.