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.

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.

In the midst of quality run, Gibson takes on White Sox

In the midst of quality run, Gibson takes on White Sox

The Minnesota Twins aim to keep up with the rest of the American League Central by sending their hottest pitcher -- Kyle Gibson -- to the mound on Sunday afternoon against Chicago. Carrying a 1.20 ERA in his last five starts, Gibson hasn't struck out many batters (16 in that span), but he has limited his free passes, allowing eight walks in that time.

He'll be looking for run support, though, as the White Sox send out an equally hot Jose Quintana. The left-hander has a 1.60 ERA in the past five games, with four quality starts in that span.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Santana begins throwing bullpen sessions

Santana begins throwing bullpen sessions

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Ervin Santana, who is serving an 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing substance, has started throwing bullpen sessions at the Twins' Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

Santana, who has a home in Sarasota, Fla., started ramping up his throwing program last week in Fort Myers. He's scheduled to throw live batting practice next week before moving on to starting in extended spring training games.

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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 activate Nunez from 15-day DL

Twins activate Nunez from 15-day DL

PITTSBURGH -- The Twins officially activated utility man Eduardo Nunez from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, two days after they optioned designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Triple-A Rochester.

The move to activate Nunez was announced on Sunday, but didn't become official until before Tuesday's game against the Pirates.

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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.

No place like home: Twins thriving at Target Field

Hunter gives new meaning to 'Dancing With the Stars' in postgame celebration

No place like home: Twins thriving at Target Field

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a Twins win at Target Field, veteran outfielder Torii Hunter addresses his teammates from the middle of the clubhouse, and then the fun really starts. With two fog machines and music blaring, the player of the game is invited to the middle of the room and the dance party begins.

It's become a tradition for Minnesota early this season, and so far, it's been a regular occurrence, as the Twins have won 14 of 20 at home this year en route to a 21-17 record that has them among the biggest surprises in baseball so far.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Berrios on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Bryant, Schwarber, Vogelbach earn honors with combined eight homers and 20 RBIs

Berrios 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.

In his first month with the Cubs, Kris Bryant has done nothing but add to the belief that he'll become a superstar. Despite missing Chicago's first eight games in an apparent attempt to leverage his service time, he leads the team with 24 RBIs and 24 walks in 29 games while batting a cool .291/.426/.476.

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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.

Gibson can't go deep as bullpen implodes

Starter labors through five before relievers struggle

Gibson can't go deep as bullpen implodes

MINNEAPOLIS -- The importance of having a pitcher get deep into the game was evident for the Twins on Sunday, as right-hander Kyle Gibson kept his team in the game, but lasted just five innings, which opened the door for the bullpen to implode in an 11-3 loss to the Rays at Target Field.

Gibson, who averaged 6 2/3 innings over his last five starts, couldn't keep his impressive roll going, as he gave up three runs on eight hits in his second-shortest outing of the year. He said the issue was being too predictable with his pitch patterns, and it's something he'll work on going forward.

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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.

Bullpen hit hard in finale loss to Rays

Bullpen hit hard in finale loss to Rays

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Chris Archer threw six strong innings and was backed by three RBIs each from Evan Longoria and James Loney to help the Rays to an 11-3 win over the Twins in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

Archer saw his streak of 20 2/3 scoreless innings on the road come to an end on an RBI single from Joe Mauer in the first, but settled down after that. He scattered four hits and walked one with four strikeouts.

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Bill Chastain is a 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.

Fien inching closer toward return to Twins

Arcia not yet ready for live batting practice

Fien inching closer toward return to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins reliever Casey Fien, on the 15-day disabled list since April 30 with a right shoulder strain, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session without any issues on Sunday.

Fien threw all of his pitches and said the plan is to throw another session on Wednesday before starting a rehab assignment. He said he's still not sure where it will be just yet, but he'll likely head out on Thursday or Friday.

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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.

Escobar's four-hit day helps Twins beat Rays

Escobar's four-hit day helps Twins beat Rays

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Trevor May bounced back after a rough outing to turn in a quality start and was backed by a four-hit day from Eduardo Escobar to help lead the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Rays on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

May gave up three runs on seven hits over a career-high 6 2/3 innings, but exited with the game tied after giving up a two-run homer to Tim Beckham in the seventh. The only other run he gave up came on a sacrifice fly from Logan Forsythe in the fourth.

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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. Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.