MINNEAPOLIS -- After posting a 10.20 ERA through his first four Major League starts, the Twins sent highly regarded prospect Jose Berrios to Triple-A Rochester for more seasoning, and he responded by posting a 2.71 ERA over 13 starts in the Minors to get his second call to the big leagues.
The Twins were hopeful he'd find more success in his second go-around, but it simply hasn't worked out that way, as he's continued to struggle. The right-hander had another rough outing in Thursday's 8-5 loss to the Tigers and was optioned to Triple-A Rochester along with fellow right-hander Tyler Duffey. Lefty Andrew Albers will be called up on Friday, while the other roster move is to be announced.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After a lull in mid-August, Detroit's offense is starting to heat up. The Tigers stayed hot against the Twins, reaching eight runs for a fourth straight game in an 8-5 win to complete a three-game sweep at Target Field on Thursday.
It moved the Tigers to 2 1/2 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot, pending the result of Baltimore's game against the Nationals on Thursday night. It was Detroit's fourth straight win, while Minnesota has lost seven in a row.
After throwing a scoreless inning of relief against the Tigers on Tuesday, Twins left-hander Pat Dean was pulled aside after the game by pitching coach Neil Allen. He informed the rookie he'd be starting in the opener of a three-game series against the Blue Jays that begins in Toronto on Friday, with fellow lefty Hector Santiago pushed back from his scheduled start with a bruised left thumb. It will be a tall task for the 27-year-old, who will be facing one of the best offenses in baseball.
The scuffling Twins will be going up against a familiar face in lefty Francisco Liriano, who pitched in Minnesota from 2005-12. It'll be Dean's first start in the Majors since June 17, but he had success against the Blue Jays on May 21, when he limited them to two runs on three hits over six innings. But Toronto's offense has heated up in recent months, and the Twins have historically had trouble at Rogers Centre.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup for a second straight game with sore quads, and manager Paul Molitor said the injury is a bit more serious than originally thought.
Mauer was also out of the starting lineup on Sunday (he pinch-hit in the ninth) before playing on Tuesday after the Twins' off-day on Monday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Miguel Cabrera set the tone with a solo homer in the first inning, and the Tigers capitalized with a five-run third, capped by a three-run blast from Justin Upton, in a 9-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday at Target Field.
It gave Detroit a second straight win over Minnesota, and the Tigers remain three games back of the Orioles for the second American League Wild Card spot.
MINNEAPOLIS -- It was another rough night for the Twins' pitching staff in a 9-4 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday, but it could have been even worse if not for three impressive catches by center fielder Eddie Rosario.
With elite defender Byron Buxton at Triple-A Rochester since late July to work on his swing, Rosario has served as the everyday center fielder. And although he doesn't have the range of Buxton, he's filled in capably in center despite playing mostly in left for the last two seasons.
MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman/designated hitter Byungho Park, who was one of the Twins' major acquisitions last offseason, will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist on Thursday, the club announced on Wednesday.
Park, 30, who was at Triple-A Rochester, had been dealing with an injured wrist throughout the season, but it worsened recently. Hand specialist Dr. Thomas Varecka will perform the operation.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left-hander Hector Santiago is dealing with a bruised left thumb and will be skipped in the rotation, with fellow lefty Pat Dean slated to start on Friday in Toronto instead.
Manager Paul Molitor said that Santiago's injury isn't considered serious and that the team is hopeful that giving him a break will help him with the injury. Santiago has struggled since being acquired from the Angels at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, going 0-4 with a 10.89 ERA in four starts.
MINNEAPOLIS -- It took a little while for Detroit's offense to get rolling, but the Tigers used back-to-back three-run innings in the sixth and seventh to down the Twins in an 8-3 win on a drizzly Tuesday night at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS -- While the rest of Minnesota's offense has started to cool down around him, Brian Dozier has continued to stay hot.
Dozier connected on a solo shot in the fifth inning on Tuesday against the Tigers to set a career high with 29 homers on the season. It gave the Twins a brief one-run lead, but it wasn't enough, as the pitching faltered late in an 8-3 loss at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Injured pitchers Trevor May, Buddy Boshers and Tommy Milone all started throwing programs while the Twins were on the road in Atlanta and Kansas City last week.
May, who has been out since Aug. 7 with a strained lower back, played catch at 90 feet on Monday, and he's been pain-free. He hopes to throw off a mound in early September, and said that his goal is to finish the season healthy in the bullpen.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite their recent scuffles that saw manager Paul Molitor visibly frustrated by a four-game sweep at the hands of the Royals over the weekend, the Twins have played better baseball over the past two months.
After an almost unfathomable 11-34 start, the Twins have gone 38-41, including a 24-22 record since July 1. But the horrible start ultimately cost Terry Ryan his job, as he was dismissed as general manager on July 18. Minnesota is currently conducting a search for a new general manager, but the club has kept the process quiet so far. There are a lot of questions about how a new front office might look for the Twins, who pride themselves on stability. With that in mind, here's this week's Inbox.
By Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals continue to ride dominating starting pitching with their seventh quality start in their last eight games.
This time it was back to left-hander Danny Duffy, who held the Twins to one run, while Eric Hosmer's go-ahead RBI double in the sixth was the difference offensively for the Royals in a 2-1 win on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City swept the four-game series with its eighth straight victory. Minnesota dropped to 2-11 in the season series and is 0-7 vs. Kansas City on the road.
Nestled in the five-trailer platform that comprises the "We Are Baseball" traveling Hall of Fame tour is a mobile theater that shows an 11-minute IMAX movie, spotlighting the best of what the game provides today, and offering glimpses of where it is headed in the future.
Baseball, steeped deeply in tradition, will always connect generations and harken back to its past. But Major League Baseball has taken a deliberate and giant step forward, shifting its focus to a younger generation of fans stimulated more by what is in front of them than by what has already happened.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Twins host RBI Central Regional Tournament
By Allison Agre
Minnesota Twins |
On Monday, July 18, the championship baseball games of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Central Regional Tournament were played on Target Field's pristine, green grass. With Minnie and Paul watching over, the players, holding up their phones to capture the moment, took their first steps onto the field. Many of them had never even been on a Major League field before, but they were now about to play a baseball game on one.
Split into three divisions -- senior boys baseball (18U), junior boys baseball (15U) and senior girls softball (18U) -- a total of 15 teams congregated from across the Midwest to compete in the weekend tournament. Beginning in full swing on Saturday, July 16, the games were played at Parade Stadium and Neiman Athletic Complex, both in Minneapolis, and Toni Stone Stadium in St. Paul. The softball games were held at the Dunning Softball Complex in St. Paul.
KANSAS CITY -- After the Twins won both games in Atlanta earlier this week, it gave them 16 wins over their previous 24 road games.
But despite that recent success away from Target Field, the Twins just can't find a way to beat the Royals this season, especially at Kauffman Stadium. Those woes continued on Sunday in a 2-1 loss, leaving the Twins 2-11 vs. the Royals this year, including an 0-7 mark in Kansas City. It was the Kansas City's first four-game sweep of Minnesota since 1999 and its first four-game sweep over the Twins at Kauffman Stadium since 1975.
KANSAS CITY -- With Adalberto Mejia optioned to Triple-A Rochester after throwing 2 1/3 innings in his Major League debut on Saturday, the Twins called up right-handed reliever Pat Light prior to Sunday's game against the Royals.
Light, who was acquired from the Red Sox on Aug. 1 in the trade that sent Fernando Abad to Boston, posted a 2.57 ERA with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings with Rochester. Light also had a 2.32 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 17 walks in 31 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket prior to the trade.
By Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger
KANSAS CITY -- The defending World Series champions may not be done after all.
The Royals, after a miserable 7-19 July that plummeted them seemingly out of contention, suddenly can do no wrong in August. Behind Alex Gordon's two home runs and yet another dominant performance by right-hander Ian Kennedy, the Royals thumped the Twins, 10-0, on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
KANSAS CITY -- After Friday's marathon of a game, which went 11 innings and featured a rain delay of more than three hours, the Twins needed another arm in their bullpen, so they called up left-hander Adalberto Mejia from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday. First baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas was optioned to Triple-A.
Mejia, who was acquired in the July 28 trade that sent Eduardo Nunez to the Giants, immediately saw action in the 10-0 loss to the Royals, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings in relief of Hector Santiago, who lasted 4 2/3 innings.
By Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger
KANSAS CITY -- Well, it was worth the wait for the Royals.
In a game that was delayed three hours and three minutes, Eric Hosmer drilled a game-winning RBI off Twins reliever J.T. Chargois with none out in the bottom of the 11th inning, leading the Royals to a 5-4 win, their sixth straight. The game started on Friday night at 7:16 p.m. CT and ended at 2:15 Saturday morning.
KANSAS CITY -- Having been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011, Bert Blyleven knows how special Cooperstown is with the countless artifacts and history housed within the Hall of Fame Museum.
But Blyleven also knows how difficult it can be for fans to make the trip to the quaint town in upstate New York. So before Friday's game between the Twins and Royals, Blyleven made sure to check out the "We Are Baseball" traveling Hall of Fame Tour that's currently being housed at Lot A at Kauffman Stadium through Sunday.
KANSAS CITY -- Brian Dozier continued to terrorize the Royals on Friday, as he accomplished a rare feat by homering in seven straight starts against Kansas City, becoming the fourth player in Major League history to homer in that many consecutive games against one team.
But it came in a difficult 5-4, 11-inning loss that featured a three-hour, three-minute rain delay and a 12-minute electrical delay because half of the lights went out at Kauffman Stadium at 12:17 a.m. CT.
KANSAS CITY -- The Twins extended their player-development contract with Triple-A Rochester through the 2018 season, both clubs announced on Friday.
After Terry Ryan was dismissed as general manager by the Twins on July 18, Rochester wanted to make sure the organization would have the right leadership in place to continue their partnership. And while the Twins haven't settled on a new GM, Rochester was convinced by Twins management that keeping their Triple-A team in Rochester was one of the organization's top priorities.
Phillies' slugger impresses in doubleheader; Rays' No. 2 fires six scoreless
By Mike Rosenbaum
For much of the season, it's been either Dylan Cozens or Rhys Hoskins pacing the Minor Leagues in home runs. On Friday, it was Cozens who took the outright lead as he belted his 36th and 37th home runs to help power Double-A Reading to a 9-1 rout against Erie in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Cozens began the game 0-for-3 at the plate before he launched a solo shot in the top of the eighth inning. The Phillies' No. 7 prospect wasn't done yet, however, as he connected on a two-run homer in the following frame.
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.
Duffey, Twins slammed by Royals' 5-run 4th
By Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger
KANSAS CITY -- It might be safe to say that Alex Gordon has ditched his season-long slump.
Gordon blasted a grand slam to cap a five-run fourth inning that powered the Royals to an 8-1 win over the Twins on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium. It was the Royals' fifth straight win and 10th in 12 games. It was Gordon's third career slam.
KANSAS CITY -- After two straight strong starts and a perfect game through 3 1/3 innings against the Royals on Thursday night, it looked like right-hander Tyler Duffey was back on track after scuffling in July.
But it fell apart quickly after Cheslor Cuthbert singled with one out in the fourth, as Duffey lost his command and ended up finding himself in a bases-loaded jam that was punctuated by a grand slam from Alex Gordon in an 8-1 loss at Kauffman Stadium. Duffey, who lasted 3 2/3 innings, gave up five runs in the inning on just two hits.
KANSAS CITY -- The Twins are continuing to give rookie Jorge Polanco looks at shortstop, and manager Paul Molitor has been impressed by the early returns, especially considering Polanco didn't play any shortstop this season at Triple-A Rochester.
Polanco made his 10th appearance at shortstop in Thursday night's 8-1 loss to the Royals, as he's seen action at short in nine of Minnesota's last 11 games. Polanco came up as a shortstop, but he played almost exclusively at second base this year in the Minors, so Molitor said he expects to see some growing pains defensively at short.