Twins' prolific bats drive rare success against AL East

– The Twins are feasting on the American League East.

They left Rogers Centre with two victories in three games against the division-leading Blue Jays. That included a 7-2 gem Wednesday in which righthander Phil Hughes threw seven shutout innings and the Twins offense pounded out 16 hits.

That makes the Twins 6-for-6 in series against AL East teams this season. They went 4-2 this year against Toronto, winning the season series for the first time since 2005.

“That says a lot,” said Hughes, who should know, having played with the Yankees for seven seasons. “This is a tough division, especially on the road.

“To be able to come in and win a series is huge, especially with their offensive capability.”

Josh Willingham homered. Kendrys Morales and Joe Mauer each had three hits. The Twins led 2-0 in the first inning in every game of this series, and they are 21-12 when they score first.

The Twins enjoy an off day Thursday before opening a three-game series at AL Central-leading Detroit on Friday. They head to Comerica Park feeling good about a few developments.

1. The look of the lineup with Danny Santana on top of it: In Santana, the Twins have a leadoff hitter who has not appeared to be overmatched at the plate. The rookie went 2-for-5 and scored two runs Wednesday, lifting his batting average to .372 in 25 games. Santana singled to lead off the game, then scored when Willingham homered into the second deck.

Santana has game-changing speed. Two Twins players have compared him to a young Jose Reyes, who had a good series for Toronto — but not as good a series as Santana.

“We think he’s got a chance,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He has some things to learn, but he has a chance.”

2. Morales doesn’t need spring training: The veteran is out of options and therefore couldn’t play minor league games to get game-ready. But Morales asked to play one day after signing with the Twins and has showed no rust. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI Wednesday, and his hits were all lasers. In the series — his first games since the end of last season — Morales went 6-for-14 with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored.

Morales led off the sixth inning with a double and scored on Trevor Plouffe’s sacrifice fly for a 3-0 Twins lead. Morales’ booming double to center in the seventh off Bobby Korecky cleared the bases and made it 6-0.

“I’m glad we got Morales on our team,” second baseman Brian Dozier said. “He can fall out of bed and hit.”

Three weeks ago, Morales, Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia weren’t in the lineup. Now they are the middle of the order.

And Mauer went 3-for-4 with walk on Wednesday after batting .107 over his previous seven games. What can this offense do if he heats up?

“It doesn’t seem like there are too many holes in our lineup,” Hughes said.

3. Hughes can make adjustments: One start after struggling against the Astros, Hughes (7-2) came back big-time against a dangerous power-hitting team. In seven innings, he scattered seven hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine. He gave up a pair of singles to begin the sixth, then retired the 3-4-5 hitters. He broke out the curveball to strike out Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind to end the inning, pounding his fist in his glove as he walked off the mound.

The Twins now head to Detroit for a weekend series with a little swagger.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Twins 7, Toronto 2

    Thursday June 12, 2014

  • Photo gallery: Twins 7, Toronto 2

    Wednesday June 11, 2014

    After dropping the series opener in Toronto, the Twins cruised to their second straight victory as Phil Hughes came...

  • Hartman: Suzuki's signing valuable for Twins

    Thursday June 12, 2014

    The catcher is having a career year thus far and also lauded for being a leader in the clubhouse.

  • Twins send Pinto to Rochester to get more playing time

    Thursday June 12, 2014

    “It’s not fair for him to sit,” manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins beat Toronto 7-2 on Wednesday.

  • Game recap: Twins 7, Toronto 2

    Thursday June 12, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerPhil Hughes, TwinsHe pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 7-2. He gave up seven hits and struck...

  • Rand: Time is baseball's great stabilizer

    Thursday June 12, 2014

    Perhaps the most used, and certainly the most overused phrase in sports in 2014 — particularly baseball — is the punchy little three-word alliteration “small sample size.”

  • Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion tosses his bat a...

  • Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia made a sliding foul ball catch to retire Toronto star Jose Bautista, helping Phil Hughes pitch his way out of a sixth-inning jam without giving up any runs Wednesday.

  • Josh Willingham got a high-five from new teammate Kendrys Morales after Willingham’s two-run homer in the first inning. Later on, Morales delivered a big hit of his own, a three-run double.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000100140
Baltimore «00053100X970
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:M.Gonzalez(7-7) L:T.May(0-4)
HR: MIN- T.Plouffe (11) BAL- D.Young (7), C.Davis (24)

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Toronto 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston 8 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Miami 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Atlanta 3
Cleveland 4 Delayed
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Bottom 5th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 7 Top 6th Inning
Houston 1
Chicago Cubs 2 Top 7th Inning
St. Louis 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Arizona 0
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 28 4th Qtr 9:55
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 3rd Qtr 0:10
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 10 3rd Qtr 8:58
Western Ky 38
TX-San Antonio 7 2nd Qtr 12:37
Houston 0
Colorado State 0 2nd Qtr 9:05
Colorado 10
UNLV 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
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 0 1st Half 28:00
Sporting Kansas City 0
Ottawa 10 6:06
Montreal 13
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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