Twins notes: Clutch hitting returns, at least in Week 1

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 9, 2014 - 12:52 AM

Small sample sizes can be a lot of fun, especially when they defy expectations. Take the Twins’ first week of games, for instance.

A lack of clutch hitting has defined the Twins during their three-year stretch of 96-plus losses, and they bottomed out with a .225 batting average with runners in scoring position in 2013, worst in the American League. It’s an important reason why they scored only 614 runs last season, 13th in the AL.

It’s also the reason their run of clutch hitting has been so impressive since the season opened. Their 21 hits with runners in scoring position are the most in the AL, one reason why the Twins also entered Tuesday leading the league in runs scored with 41.

“Some of the concerns about scoring runs — we’ve been pleased with how we’re swinging the bats,” said Rob Antony, Twins assistant general manager. Saturday and Sunday’s victories in Cleveland were particularly encouraging, he said, because after taking early leads, “we continued to tack on runs,” he said. “... It wasn’t one [scoring] outburst.”

Another reason for the offensive production: The Twins led all of baseball in drawing walks, 36 so far, which explained their AL-best .353 on-base percentage.

One other random category they led: They were the only team with two balks this season, both of them by Sam Deduno.

Gardenhire ceremony

The Twins will express their gratitude toward manager Ron Gardenhire and their pride in his 1,000th career victory by holding a pregame ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Target Field.

Gardenhire, whose career record in his 13th season stands at 1,001-951, will be honored with a video of his career highlights, a couple of speeches and the presentation of gifts from the team. Gardenhire became the 60th major league manager to reach 1,000 victories Saturday, when the Twins beat Cleveland 7-3.

Viola out of hospital

Former Twins ace Frank Viola was released from a New York hospital following open heart surgery last week, the Mets said.

The Mets announced in spring training that the 53-year-old lefthander, who is in his first year as the pitching coach for their Class AAA Las Vegas affiliate, would need heart surgery after a condition was detected during a medical exam.

Viola went 112-93 with the Twins from 1982 to ’89, winning World Series MVP honors in 1987 and the AL Cy Young Award the following year.

‘A weird at-bat’

Twins righthander Kevin Correia, on Jed Lowrie’s odd at-bat Monday in which the Oakland infielder tried to take first base on a walk after only three balls, then hit a long foul ball that umpires reviewed to confirm it had not crossed inside the foul pole: “It was a weird at-bat. First he walked but didn’t walk. Then he hit a home run but didn’t hit a home run. I was asking the umpire, “What’s he going to do next?’ ”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
MinnesotaP. Hughes (14-8)000
Kansas CityL. Hendriks (1-0)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Texas - C. Lewis 2:40 PM
Seattle - E. Ramirez
Washington - D. Fister 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Boston - J. Kelly 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Stroman
NY Yankees - S. Greene 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close