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.

“We’re playing good baseball,” Dozier said. “I feel like we’re kind of clicking right now.”


La Velle E. Neal III •

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Twins 7, Toronto 2

    Thursday June 12, 2014

  • Video: Hughes improves to 7-2 as Twins beat Toronto

    Wednesday June 11, 2014

    Hughes pitches seven strong innings on. Wednesday

  • 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
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)


New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins contact Joe Maddon about their managing job?

Weekly Question