Review aids Willingham streak


Twins outfielder Josh Willingham

Photo: Orlin Wagner, Associated Press

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The league office has spoken. Twins outfielder Josh Willingham has a 15-game hitting streak, not a three-game streak.

Willingham went 0-for-3 with a run scored Sunday during a loss to the Cubs. He reached on Ian Stewart's fielding error in the ninth inning. So everyone left that game believing that his 12-game streak was over.

Not so fast. The league reviewed the play, and changed the ruling to an infield single Wednesday.

Since Willingham went 1-for-5 Tuesday, he entered Wednesday with a 14-game hitting streak, during which he was batting .365 with four home runs, 15 RBI and 11 runs scored. He extended that streak Wednesday with a home run.

Willingham had a 15-game hitting streak earlier in the season. He's one of two players to have two hit streaks of at least 14 games. The other is the Giants' Angel Pagan.

Buxton impresses Span

Denard Span had flashbacks Tuesday when he met first-round pick Byron Buxton, who officially signed with the club Wednesday.

Span remembered when he signed with the Twins in 2002 and was allowed to take batting practice at the Metrodome. He met Buxton's parents and remembered how excited his parents were when they traveled to Minnesota with him when he signed.

"It reminded me of when I came in all wide-eyed," Span said. "It also makes me realize that I'm getting old."

Span said he gave Buxton his number and told him to call if he needs anything.

"He seems to be a really nice person," Span said. "It was good to put the name with the face."

Despite being the second overall pick, Buxton's signing bonus of $6 million is the largest of any player in the draft. First overall pick Carlos Correa signed with Houston for $4.8 million, according to Baseball America.

Buxton also passes Joe Mauer as the biggest bonus baby in club history. Mauer signed for $5.15 million in 2001, although that was spread out over five years because he was a two-sport athlete.

The top five bonuses in club history include Miguel Sano, who received $3.15 million in 2009; B.J. Garbe, who received $2.75 million in 1999; and Adam Johnson, who received $2.5 million in 2000. Sano was signed as a teenager out of the Dominican Republic; the other players were drafted.


• FSN has added four games to its schedule that were previously not going to be televised. Those games are July 19 vs. Baltimore; Aug. 30 vs. Seattle; Sept. 5 at Chicago and Sept. 20 at Cleveland.

Trevor Plouffe, in the second inning on Wednesday, hit his 11th homer, seventh as a third baseman.

Despite having played only 18 games at third base, Plouffe entered Wednesday tied for sixth in the American League in home runs as a third baseman. He was one homer behind Alex Rodriguez.

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