The Rangers' 11-3 victory over the Angels last night ended at 10:27 p.m. in Anaheim, two time zones away. The team packed up and hustled to the airport, but didn't land in Minneapolis until 6 a.m. Central Time. It was 6:45 when their bus arrived at their downtown hotel, and most players got to their rooms around 7.
So don't be surprised if the Rangers yawn a lot during tonight's game.
"It's a tough travel day, it is. But it's more or less a mind-over-matter situation," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "It's on the schedule, so you come and try to play, do the best you can, then get a good night's rest."
Washington cancelled batting practice, and told his players they didn't have to show up at Target Field until 4 p.m. "But of course, at 2 o'clock, most of these guys were in the clubhouse," he said.
Neither side expects it to be a major factor today -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said his experience is that players find the energy to play on short rest, but it's the next day where the lack of sleep hits you -- but the Twins, better rested this month than any team in baseball thanks to the weather, will take any advantage they can get. Minnesota went 2-8 against the Rangers last year and was swept in three games in Target Field.
The Twins are 250-253 all-time against the Rangers, by the way.
Tonight's lineups include another start for Oswaldo Arcia, the rookie who hit his first career home run on Tuesday. That puts Ryan Doumit on the bench again, which Gardenhire acknowledged probably isn't too popular with the regular DH.
"I'm sure he's about to bite a bat in half," Gardenhire said.