Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS—That wasn't inspired managing when Paul Molitor sent closer Fernando Rodney in to bail rookie Fernando Romero out of a fifth-inning jam on Sunday, July 15. It was Molitor making the best of Rodney's travel schedule, which required him to leave Target Field by 3 p.m. in order to attend an immigration hearing on Monday morning, July 16, in Miami. The Dominican-born Rodney, set to become a U.S. citizen at age 41, had postponed one hearing already due to his employment, so the Twins agreed to make it work during the all-star break.
MINNEAPOLIS—Tempers flared and benches cleared twice as the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays slogged through sticky, slow-moving Sunday afternoon, July 14, to close out the first half of the season. In the end, the Twins got the last word and an 11-7 victory on Brian Dozier's walk-off grand slam off Matt Andriese in the 10th inning. That gave the Twins three out of four against the Rays and wrapped up a 9-2 homestand. Sunday's game took four hours, 38 minutes to complete and featured three lead changes and a tie—all from the seventh inning on.
MINNEAPOLIS — Bobby Wilson has caught more than 1,100 games and 8,100 innings in a professional career he began as a 48th-round pick in 2002. He has caught a pair of professional no-hitters, including Ervin Santana's in 2011, and came tantalizingly close two other times, once in the Midwest League with ex-Twins closer Kevin Jepsen in 2004. Wilson, 35, knows the drill, and yet he still can't help but experience the Berrios Bounce on days when the Twins' All-Star right-hander takes the mound.
MINNEAPOLIS — All you really needed to know about Saturday’s 19-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was the identity of the Twins’ final pitcher: Willians Astudillo.
MINNEAPOLIS — Addison Reed's prolonged struggles have finally been acknowledged. The veteran reliever was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right triceps tightness before the series finale against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, July 11. Fellow right-hander Alan Busenitz was recalled from Triple-A Rochester. It's the first career trip to the DL for Reed, who was signed to a two-year, $16.75 million contract in January after pitching in the past three postseasons for the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox.
MINNEAPOLIS — Early work for hitters is a regular part of the baseball routine, but it's not nearly as common for pitchers. So it was somewhat jarring to see 11 Twins pitchers — all but Monday starter Jose Berrios and Sunday starter Jake Odorizzi — out in the 89-degree afternoon heat for 30 minutes' worth of pitchers' fielding practice on Monday, July 9.
MINNEAPOLIS—Even after working three straight days for the first time this season, Minnesota Twins closer Fernando Rodney offered his services for the series finale Sunday, July 8. "It wasn't more than 10 minutes (after Saturday's game) when he asked about being ready (Sunday)," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's a little different in today's game, but I give him credit. He's one of our most resilient arms. You want to be smart at the same time."
MINNEAPOLIS — Over the weekend Jose Berrios called his mother back home in Puerto Rico and suggested a family vacation to Orlando, Fla., during the upcoming all-star break. "I was thinking we'd go to the Magic Kingdom, for the kids," Berrios said Sunday, July 8. "Now we're going to Washington."
MINNEAPOLIS — Could it be it's not how you play but who you play? It's certainly fair for the Twins to wonder that after pummeling the Baltimore Orioles 10-1 on Sunday afternoon, July 8, at Target Field. Clubbing three homers, two of them during an eight-run uprising in the sixth, the Twins completed a four-game sweep of the majors' worst team. The four-game home sweep over the Orioles was the first in Twins history in the head-to-head matchup. The Twins also took four straight at Camden Yards in August 2015, back in Paul Molitor's first year as manager.
MILWAUKEE — Jorge Polanco's game-tying single in the seventh ended the Twins' scoreless streak at 20 mind-numbing innings, but the Independence Day euphoria didn't last much past "God Bless America." Young right-hander Jose Berrios gave up a pair of solo homers in the bottom half of the inning as the Twins fell 3-2 to Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park, completing a sweep at the hands of the first-place Brewers.