Twins hoping Dozier, Perkins get All-Star bids

Twins hoping Dozier, Perkins get All-Star bids

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins are without a starting position player in this year's All-Star Game in Cincinnati on July 14, but they are hoping for more than one representative after a surprisingly solid start to the first half of the season.

Closer Glen Perkins, who is a perfect 27-for-27 in save opportunities, is a lock to be named an All-Star for the third straight year, while second baseman Brian Dozier has made a strong case to be considered a reserve. The Twins have had more than one representative in eight of the last 10 years with the only years with one All-Star coming in 2011-12.

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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 drop finale after Santana's solid debut

Twins drop finale after Santana's solid debut

KANSAS CITY -- Slumping first baseman Eric Hosmer ripped an RBI double into the right-field corner with none out in the ninth, giving the Royals a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Sunday afternoon.

It was the Royals' second walk-off win of the four-game series after not having any in 2015. The teams split the four-game set and the Royals remained 4 1/2 games in the AL Central lead.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. 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.

Santana sharp in no-decision despite layoff

Santana sharp in no-decision despite layoff

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Ervin Santana couldn't have been much sharper in his return from his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug, but familiar problems plagued the Twins on Sunday.

Santana went eight innings, giving up two runs on just three hits, but the Twins went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and the bullpen gave up a walk-off RBI double to Eric Hosmer in a 3-2 loss to get saddled with a series split against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

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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.

Robinson's daughter has successful surgery

Robinson's daughter has successful surgery

KANSAS CITY -- Twins manager Paul Molitor said outfielder Shane Robinson's daughter, Harper, underwent successful surgery in Boston, but he's still not sure when Robinson will rejoin the team.

Robinson's seven-month old daughter was born with a stomach/esophagus condition that requires multiple surgeries. She suffered a complication on Thursday, but Molitor said the latest operation over the weekend was a success.

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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.

Sano makes home debut against Orioles

Sano makes home debut against Orioles

Twins top prospect Miguel Sano makes his anticipated Target Field debut on Monday night against the Orioles. Sano, ranked as the No. 9 overall prospect by MLB.com, has hits in all four games since being called up from Double-A Chattanooga.

Sano will face Baltimore's lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who has a 2.84 ERA on the season, in the series opener.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen bounces back, picks up Pelfrey's slack

Relievers combine for five scoreless innings to help beat Royals

Bullpen bounces back, picks up Pelfrey's slack

KANSAS CITY -- A night after the bullpen couldn't protect a late one-run lead in a loss to the Royals, the Twins bounced back with the help of five shutout innings from a combination of six relievers in Saturday night's 5-3 win at Kauffman Stadium.

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey left after just four-plus innings, loading the bases with no outs in the fourth and allowing a two-run single to Lorenzo Cain. Lefty Brian Duensing allowed an inherited runner to score on a groundout, but the bullpen threw up zeros from there in a victory that moved Minnesota within 3 1/2 games of first-place Kansas City.

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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.

Plouffe, Mauer power Twins over Royals

Plouffe, Mauer power Twins over Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Joe Mauer ripped a two-run homer and the Twins' bullpen tossed five scoreless innings to bail out starter Mike Pelfrey as Minnesota topped the Royals, 5-3, on Saturday in front 37,917 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

The Twins have taken two of three so far in the series and pulled within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Royals, who have dropped five of six. Mauer's homer, his fifth this season, came after Brian Dozier singled. The Twins added a third run in the inning on Aaron Hicks' RBI groundout.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Twins getting big midseason boost in Santana

Twins getting big midseason boost in Santana

KANSAS CITY -- The Minnesota Twins have surprised some people with their performance this season. That performance figures to become even better now. On Saturday, Ervin Santana returned to the Twins after an 80-game suspension for his use of a performance-enhancing drug. If Santana pitches to his career norms, he'll be a big help.

The Twins defeated the Royals, 5-3, Saturday night, giving them a 43-38 record and leaving them 3 1/2 games behind Kansas City in the American League Central. At the midpoint of the season, the minimum that can be said about the Twins is that they are in a Wild Card position.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pressly to undergo MRI on right lat strain

Pressly to undergo MRI on right lat strain

KANSAS CITY -- Twins reliever Ryan Pressly left Saturday's 5-3 win over the Royals in the seventh inning with what was originally announced as a shoulder strain, but manager Paul Molitor said it could be related to his lat instead of his shoulder. Pressly will undergo an MRI exam on Sunday morning to find out the extent of his injury.

Pressly threw two pitches to Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, including a 97-mph fastball on his last pitch that was hit into left field for a single. But Pressly looked to be in pain and was visited at the mound by assistant trainer Tony Leo and Molitor before being removed from the game.

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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 reinstate Santana from restricted list

Righty will start Sunday's finale vs. Royals

Twins reinstate Santana from restricted list

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins officially reinstated right-hander Ervin Santana from the restricted list on Saturday after he completed his 80-game suspension for his use of a performance-enhancing drug.

Santana, who signed a four-year $55 million contract with Minnesota in the offseason, will make his Twins debut as the starter for Sunday's series finale against the Royals. He met with reporters for the first time since being handed the suspension on April 3, and was mostly upbeat throughout the interview, but wouldn't get into specifics about how or why he tested positive for Stanozolol.

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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 move May to bullpen for now

Righty odd-man out with Santana returning to rotation

Twins move May to bullpen for now

KANSAS CITY -- With right-hander Ervin Santana joining the rotation on Sunday after serving his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug, rookie right-hander Trevor May is the odd-man out and will move to the bullpen in the short-term.

May has made steady progress this year, and has a 4.37 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 18 walks in 80 1/3 innings. Advanced statistics such as Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) have also painted him as the club's best starter this season. He's been better of late with a 3.23 ERA since June 1, but he also gave up six runs while recording just one out against the Brewers on June 26.

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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 tripped up late in extras loss to Royals

Twins tripped up late in extras loss to Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain scored from third on an infield dribbler off the bat of Jarrod Dyson with one out in the 10th inning as the Royals earned a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Friday night before 38,868 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

Cain led off the 10th with a double and went to third with one out on a wild pitch. Dyson then hit a chopper to first baseman Joe Mauer off pitcher Aaron Thompson. Mauer fired home, but the tag was late as Cain slid in headfirst to give Kansas City its first walk-off win of the season and first since last year's victory over the A's in the American League Wild Card Game.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. 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.

Sano delivers Major firsts for Twins' offense

Sano delivers Major firsts for Twins' offense

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins called up top prospect Miguel Sano in hopes he could help jumpstart their struggling offense, and he ended up factoring into both runs scored against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Sano went 2-for-4 with his first career RBI and his first career run, but it wasn't enough in a 3-2 loss in 10 innings. Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, was impressed with what he saw from the 22-year-old rookie.

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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.

Milone keeps going strong in Twins' rotation

Milone keeps going strong in Twins' rotation

KANSAS CITY -- Tommy Milone continued his impressive stretch since replacing Ricky Nolasco in the Twins' rotation, making the decision on what to do once Ervin Santana returns from his 80-game suspension for PED use on Saturday even more difficult.

Milone gave up just one run over six innings to lower his ERA to 1.95 over his last six starts, but it wasn't enough, as the bullpen couldn't protect a late lead in a 3-2 loss to the Royals in 10 innings on Friday 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.

Twins option Meyer to Triple-A

Reliever moves to Rochester as E. Santana returns to rotation

Twins option Meyer to Triple-A

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins optioned top pitching prospect Alex Meyer to Triple-A Rochester after Friday's 3-2 loss to the Royals to make room for right-hander Ervin Santana, who returns on Saturday from his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug.

Santana isn't scheduled to start until Sunday, but has to be activated once his suspension is up on Saturday. He's already in Kansas City and will officially rejoin the team before Saturday's game. The Twins have yet to announce whether Santana will replace a starter in the rotation or if they'll go with a six-man rotation heading into the All-Star break.

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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.

Robinson placed on family emergency list

Twins activate outfielder Hicks from 15-day disabled list

Robinson placed on family emergency list

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins placed outfielder Shane Robinson on the family emergency list on Friday, and activated fellow outfielder Aaron Hicks from the 15-day disabled list.

It marks the second time that Robinson has been placed on the family emergency list this season, as he also missed three games in mid-May. Robinson's seven-month old daughter, Harper, was born with a stomach/esophagus condition that requires multiple surgeries. She suffered a complication on Thursday, which caused Robinson to leave the team and join his wife in Boston where Harper is being treated.

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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.

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson continued his mastery of the Royals by humming through eight scoreless innings and allowing just four singles in a 2-0 win on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals lost their fourth straight as the Twins moved 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. 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.

Sano logs first MLB hit in debut vs. Royals

Sano logs first MLB hit in debut vs. Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Top prospect Miguel Sano made his long-awaited debut with the Twins on Thursday, serving as the designated hitter and hitting sixth against the Royals.

Sano went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in his debut, reaching on an infield single in the ninth inning off closer Greg Holland for his first Major League hit. Shane Robinson replaced him as a pinch-runner, but Sano's hit led to a run with Eduardo Escobar coming through with an RBI triple to give the Twins some breathing room in a 2-0 win at Kauffman Stadium.

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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 rewarded after showing faith in Gibson

Twins rewarded after showing faith in Gibson

KANSAS CITY -- It's evident that Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson has taken a major step forward in his development as a starting pitcher in his second full season in the Majors, and with that has come trust from manager Paul Molitor.

It was clear on Thursday night against the first-place Royals, as Molitor kept Gibson in the game despite running into a jam in the eighth inning. Gibson allowed two runners to reach with one out, but he remained in the game despite being over 100 pitches, and Gibson was able to retire the heart of Kansas City's order to help lift Minnesota to a 2-0 win.

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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

Mike Bauman

Sano enjoys Major taste of winning most of all

Sano enjoys Major taste of winning most of all

KANSAS CITY -- Before Thursday night's game, Miguel Sano was asked repeatedly what his goal was for his Major League debut.

His answer never really varied by more than a few words. "Try to get a win tonight," Sano said.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins agree with int'l SS Javier on $4M bonus

Twins agree with int'l SS Javier on $4M bonus

The Twins have made a splash on the international market, agreeing to a $4 million deal with Dominican Republic teenage shortstop Wander Javier, according to industry sources.

There are some scouts who believe that Javier, ranked No. 8 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, has the potential to be the best all-around player in the class. There are others who would like to see him display his talents more consistently.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

What to expect: Miguel Sano

Twins slugger looks to join Buxton as mainstay in lineup

What to expect: Miguel Sano

In the last few weeks, the Minnesota Twins called up their No. 1 prospect in Byron Buxton and their No. 3 guy in Alex Meyer. So no one was caught off-guard -- especially not in this year of "Promotionpalooza" -- when it was time for No. 2 Twins prospect Miguel Sano to get the call.

When Kennys Vargas was optioned on Tuesday, it became clear that Sano's time had arrived. The Twins are hoping they've timed the 22-year-old Dominican third baseman's first call to the big leagues at exactly the right time. The Double-A Southern League All-Star was really locked in with Chattanooga and the organization clearly doesn't have a problem calling guys up straight from Double-A, as they did the same thing with Buxton a few weeks back.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phenom Sano promoted by Twins, Vargas optioned

Phenom Sano promoted by Twins, Vargas optioned

CINCINNATI -- In a surprising move, the Twins optioned first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Double-A Chattanooga after Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Reds. The Twins made a corresponding move before Thursday's game, and they called up top prospect Miguel Sano.

Sano, ranked the No. 9 overall prospect by MLB.com, was held out of the Double-A Chattanooga lineup on Wednesday night. He is ranked No. 2 among Twins prospects.

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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.

May battles, but error costly as Twins fall

May battles, but error costly as Twins fall

CINCINNATI -- In potentially his final start in a Reds uniform at Great American Ball Park, ace Johnny Cueto threw eight strong innings to lead the Reds to a series-clinching 2-1 victory over the Twins on Wednesday.

Cueto (5-5, 2.84) gave up one run on four hits, one walk and one hit batter for his first win since June 7. He also recorded eight strikeouts, giving him exactly 100 on the season. The 29-year-old right-hander is in the final year of his current contract, and he has been considered by many as a candidate to be moved before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.

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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. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Five famous quotes that were about Miguel Sano

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Five famous quotes that were about Miguel Sano

On Wednesday afternoon, the Twins brought joy to the hearts of prospect fans everywhere when Rhett Bollinger reported that they were calling up uber-prospect Miguel Sano. The 22-year-old, who, according to MLB Pipeline, "has nearly as much power as anyone in the Minor Leagues, with the potential for his 2013 output [35 home runs] to become an annual occurrence," was hitting .274/.374/.544 with 15 home runs at the time of the call-up. He also looks wonderfully sassy when pretending his bat is a sword. 

Hoping to know just what to expect when Sano, we looked to history's greatest thinkers and writers. Turns out that much has already been written about the third baseman. 

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Hughes maximizing quality in successful run

With 2.47 ERA over last five starts, Twins righty hurt only by solo homers, defense in win over Reds

Hughes maximizing quality in successful run

CINCINNATI -- After a slow start to the season, right-hander Phil Hughes has found his groove this month and is looking more and more like the pitcher who was the Twins' best starter last season.

Even after an ugly seventh inning that saw the Twins commit two errors that led to two unearned runs, Hughes was strong yet again on Tuesday in an 8-5 win over the Reds during a game that was delayed by rain for 121 minutes.

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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 rain on Reds, then fend off rally for win

Twins rain on Reds, then fend off rally for win

CINCINNATI -- The Twins had never faced Reds rookie starter Anthony DeSclafani before, but they clearly did a good job with their advanced reconnaissance. Minnesota scattered 15 hits in the game, including 11 off of DeSclafani, before holding on for a messy 8-5 victory Tuesday that evened the three-game series ahead of Wednesday's matinee finale at Great American Ball Park.

While throwing a career-high 122 pitches, DeSclafani was charged with six earned runs over 6 2/3 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Torii Hunter homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. One run crossed in the top of the second inning and another followed in the fifth before separation came in a four-run Minnesota seventh. The big hit was Kurt Suzuki's two-run single against Burke Badenhop, who replaced DeSclafani.

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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. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins bump Berrios up to Triple-A Rochester

Club's No. 4 prospect scheduled to make first start with affiliate on Friday

Twins bump Berrios up to Triple-A Rochester

CINCINNATI -- After a strong showing at Double-A Chattanooga, Twins No. 4 prospect Jose Berrios was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.

Berrios, ranked as the No. 26 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, went 8-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 15 starts with Chattanooga. The 21-year-old struck out 92, walked 24 and allowed six homers in 90 2/3 innings.

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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.