"I think we might just go with it," Michael Cuddyer said with a laugh following Sunday's 3-1 victory, which completed a series sweep over the Angels.
After getting blown out in three of four games against the Blue Jays to start the homestand, the Twins took the message from their manager Ron Gardenhire on Thursday night to heart. That message was not to panic, but rather to stick together and keep rooting for each other and the wins would start coming.
The club tried to emphasize that message after Gardenhire's postgame talk by listening to the lyrics of the Marley song that sang, "Don't worry about a thing. 'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
And with how many times the lyrics have been heard in the clubhouse following wins over the past couple of days, there is no question that the message was heard.
"We've got a nice little song going in there," Gardenhire said with a smile. "These last three ballgames, the last two especially, we've played good baseball."
The Twins players say that they didn't feel it was absolutely necessary to come out of the Angels series with a sweep. But they knew that team morale couldn't afford many more losses like the ones suffered against the Blue Jays.
"If we had gotten swept, it would have been a morgue in here," Brendan Harris said. "Gardy talked about not panicking. He just talked about coming in here and playing hard and we'll get it turned around. And we did."
But the Twins know they'll have to keep up the hard play as they prepare for a five-game road trip that features two games in Boston and three in Cleveland.
The Twins are going to get their first day of rest on Monday after starting off the season with 14 straight games. They'll get another off-day on Thursday, right after the two contests at Fenway, before their first series of the year against their divisional foes, the Indians.
Despite the off-days, the club hopes it can carry the momentum of its latest series sweep into the road trip.
The Twins have not fared well recently in either Boston or Cleveland. The club was swept in a three-game series at Fenway Park just before the All-Star Break last July. The team didn't do much better at Progressive Field in Cleveland, where it was 3-6 last season.
"We've got a couple of tough games in Boston and Cleveland coming up," Harris said. "But I think coming off this kind of series can only help us."
MIN: RHP Scott Baker (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Baker missed his Opening Day start with right shoulder stiffness, then was hammered for four home runs in four innings on Wednesday in his season debut against Toronto. This time, he'll need an effort like his last one against the Red Sox. Baker pitched masterfully last July 7 at Fenway Park, throwing seven scoreless innings in a no-decision. But the Twins lost, 1-0, on Manny Ramirez's RBI single off reliever Brian Bass in the eighth.
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (1-1, 3.00 ERA)
The knuckleballer comes off a masterful performance last Wednesday in Oakland, where he threw a complete game in just his second start of the season. Wakefield carried a no-hitter one out deep into the eighth inning before Kurt Suzuki singled cleanly to break up the bid. Wakefield allowed four hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four. Wakefield is 13-5 lifetime with a 4.38 ERA lifetime against the Twins. He was tagged for seven hits and seven runs, six earned, over 2 2/3 innings in his only appearance against them last season.
Jose Morales collected his first career RBI in Sunday's win and his second multi-hit game of the season, but it was his game-calling behind the plate that impressed his skipper. "We all knew he could swing the bat," Gardenhire said. "It's about handling this pitching staff when you are behind the plate right now with Joe [Mauer] gone. He did a super job. The baserunning and the swinging of the bat, those are all bonuses." ... The Twins will not skip any of their starters despite having two off-days this week. All of the club's starters will remain in line with everyone getting an extra day or two of rest. Gardenhire said that he didn't want to mess with the rotation too early in the season. ... Left-hander Jose Mijares extended his scoreless streak at Triple-A Rochester to 6 1/3 innings this season on Saturday night when he pitched another scoreless inning. Mijares has walked just one batter over that span while giving up two hits. Far better numbers than Mijares put up in Spring Training, when he walked nine batters in 10 innings and posted a 9.90 ERA. But despite the Twins recent bullpen woes, Gardenhire said Mijares will have to keep proving that things have turned around before he might rejoin the team.
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Official game notes
Wednesday: Twins (Francisco Liriano, 0-3, 5.09) at Red Sox (Brad Penny, 1-0, 11.00), 6:10 p.m. CT
Friday: Twins (Nick Blackburn, 0-1, 5.71) at Indians (TBD), 6:05 p.m. CT