Minnesota Twins: Takes Series From Chicago, Have Twinning July
Minnesota Twins win despite fielding errors; continue to roll
By virtue of their win on Friday night, the Minnesota Twins clinched a winning record in a calendar month for the first time since May of 2015.
They punctuated July with a dominating pitching performance by Ervin Santana, taking two of three from Chicago in the weekend series.
The first two contests went to extra innings, with the Twins prevailing Friday night on Joe Mauer‘s walk-off walk in the 12th – only the second walk-off RBI in Mauer’s career.
The White Sox turned the tables Saturday, gaining a win in the 10th inning utilizing two doubles.
The series was wild.
The Twins’ center fielder, Byron Buxton, made Target Field his personal playground on Saturday, with “Ooohs and ahhhs” coming after several plays in the field and on the base paths.
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After reaching on an error in the third inning, Buxton stole second and was waved home after the overthrow to second base was misplayed by J.B. Schuck. ‘
The throw looked to beat Buxton at home, but as he tried to dive around the tag, he knocked the ball out of catcher Dioner Navarro‘s glove.
In the fourth inning, he ran 21.7 mph, covering 84.6 ft to snag a line drive off the bat of Melky Cabrera according to MLB’s Statcast.
On Sunday, Buxton stole second base standing up, with a throw from the catcher, no less.
However, his failure to slide seems to have caught up to him, as he pulled up lame on the following grounder, exiting the game. It’s the same leg that Buxton missed a few games for prior to the All-Star break, after running into a wall.
The biggest takeaway from the Chicago series was the starting pitching by Ricky Nolasco and Ervin Santana, both rumored to possibly be on the trading block.
Nolasco gave the Twins an A+ effort, if this indeed was his last start for them, going eight innings, allowing three hits, one run and one walk while striking out six in a no decision.
Santana book ended the series with another quality start, his 10th to match Nolasco, as he pitched six innings, allowing three runs, but only one earned, as the Minnesota Twins’ defense kicked it around for four errors.
Among the relievers who are rumored to be moved, both Brandon Kintzler and Fernando Abad pitched in Saturday’s game.
Kintzler blew his first save of the season, and Abad (1-4) was tagged for the loss after giving up doubles to two more right-handed hitters.
His performance might have hurt the appearance that he is more than a lefty-on-lefty reliever. He’s (.163 AVG / .192 OBP / .458 OPS) against lefties, and a decidedly higher (.257 AVG / .360 OBP / .712 OPS) against righties.
MVT: Brian Dozier: Looks to have regained stroke and regained lead-off role.
The Minnesota Twins will only play 10 games in August at home. They begin the month at Cleveland tomorrow for four games. Jose Berrios (1-1) is rumored to be the starter for the 6:10 PM start opposite Indians’ All-Star, Danny Salazar (11-3).
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NOTES: Former Minnesota Twins star, Justin Morneau, received a warm welcome from Minnesota fans in every at-bat in his return to Minnesota. He was 4-for-13 in the series, with his second home run in a White Sox uniform Saturday against Tommy Milone.