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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Postgame: Hughes is 3-1, Sano is agile, Buxton takes better at-bats

Here are three thoughts from LEN3 following the Twins 3-2 win over Texas

HUGHES WAS SOLID: Righthander Phil Hughes once again didn't have full command of his change up on Monday. He tried to get ahead of hitters and spin that knuckle curve, and it got hit a few times. But there was no major damage caused by the team with the most homers in the AL. Hughes noted that it helped that this is April and not later in the season, when balls carry farther in the heat. "I executed some big pitches when I had to, with guys on," he said. Despite not having his best change up - one of them hit Mike Napoli in the fourth - Hughes kept attacking inside, especially lefthanded hitters. That opens up the outer half of the plate for him. It also keeps sluggers like Joey Gallo from extending their arms and doing real damage.

SANO THE ATHLETE: Miguel Sano is more agile that he appears to be. The former shortstop made a nice play in the fifth inning when he hustled down the line to make a falling grab of Gallo's pop fly. It was a tricky play because the wind was swirling. Sano ran to the spot where he thought the ball was going and then had to make a late adjustment. I don't know about you, but getting 270 pounds to go one direction then suddenly change ain't easy. "We talk about his athleticism," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He popped up off the ground and was ready to throw."

BUXTON BETTER: Byron Buxton flew out in his first at bat, but he worked the count to three balls and even hit a drive down the right field line that went foul. It was a sign that he was trying to stay back and use more of the field. Buxton ended up drawing two walks - and striking out once - on Monday. He's only had three multi-walk games in his career. "I've been working every day trying to let the ball travel more and then hit the other way," Buxton said. Buxton began the day batting .109. While I had heard no rumblings about him being sent down, there had to be concern about how he was handling it. The Twins are at one-step-at-a-time mode with him now. So they look at Monday's game as something Buxton can use to turn into momentum. Torii Hunter was on the field with Buxton in the early afternoon, just trying to make him laugh and ease his mind. But he also wanted Buxton to understand that he has to trust the process, and start by letting the ball travel deeper over the plate before hitting it. "I thought even from his first at-bat and some of the work he's been putting in, he's had trouble translating some of his practice swings into the games," Molitor said, "but we saw a few tonight."

Twins' Sano suspended one game for role in Saturday's bench-clearing incident

Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended for one game by Major League Baseball for his part in a benches-clearing incident on Saturday against Detroit.

However, Sano is in the lineup tonight, batting third. The Twins are going to appeal the decision, manager Paul Molitor said, and they believe they have a good chance at getting the punishment reduced to a fine.

Sano said he shoved catcher James McCann after McCann put his glove in Sano's face. The umpires viewed that shove as more of a punch. But McCann's actions appeared to escalate the situation, which the Twins will likely point out in their appeal.

It is not known how soon the appeal can be heard. I'm checking with the league office on that one.

Here's the official release from the league:

          Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sanó has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his aggressive actions in the bottom of the fifth inning of Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field, which caused benches to clear.  Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.
          In addition, Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd has received an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch at Sanó.  
          Sanó’s suspension had been scheduled to be served tonight, when the Twins are to visit the Texas Rangers.  However, he has elected to appeal.  Thus, the discipline issued to Sanó will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

As for tonight...

Maybe getting out of town will allow the Twins to find the form that led to a 5-1 start on the season. They are in Arlington for three games against the Rangers before heading up I-35 to play Kansas City this weekend.

That makes it pretty good timing for Nick Tepesch to be with the club. Tepesch has officially been called up from Class AAA Rochester and will be in uniform tonight. Tepesch was drafted by and debuted with the Rangers, so this is a little bit of a homecoming for him. And he was born in Kansas City and attended Blue Spring High School. So friends and family should be in play all week long.

Tepesch will likely be the long man out of the bullpen as the Twins try to get back with a four-man rotation until May 6. There are two offdays  between now and then that makes a five-man rotation superfluous.

Buddy Boshers was optioned back to Rochester after spending a day with the Twins. Ryan O'Rourke was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Tepesch on the 40-man roster.

It's also the homecoming for GM Thad Levine, who spent 11 seasons as the Rangers assistant GM. Levine is scheduled to meet with the media here before the game.

This series features a dream matchup for exit velocity enthusiasts. The Twins have Sano. The Rangers have Joey Gallo. Both have terrific power and could launch balls out to Jerryworld.

Both Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins, both Dallas area residents, are here. Hunter had Byron Buxton out on the field for early work. Trying to get the young man to laugh a little and ease his mind.

Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Robbie Grossman, RF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Kennys Vargas, DH
Chris Gimenez, C
Eddie Rosario, LF
Byron Buxton, CF

Phil Hughes, RHP


Texas

Carlos Gomez, CF 
Shin-Soo Choo, DH 
Nomar Mazara, RF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Rougned Odor, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Joey Gallo, 3B
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Jurickson Profar, LF

Martin Perez, LHP

Final, 4/24 R H E
Minnesota 9-10 3 6 0
Texas 9-11 2 7 0

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