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Twins Insider

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

Postgame: Thoughts on Sano, Pressly and the reeling Royals

Here are some quick notes following the Twins 7-5 win over the Royals on Sunday:

THE SANO SHOW: This has been the Miguel Sano road trip, as the third baseman has been locked in all week. Looking at his numbers, and everything screams BETTER. More walks, fewer strikeouts, contact percentage, selectivity. It's all working for him right now. When he had to wait six minutes on Friday for C.B. Bucknor to be assisted after being hit with a foul ball, then hit a home run on the next pitch, I knew he was locked in. Can't wait to see how teams respond to his surge. Advance scouts are bearing down on Sano right now, looking for ways to exploit him. "He's  tough to pitch right now." Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He seems to be handling all quadrants of the strike zone fairly well."

BIG OUT: Ryan Pressly threw just two pitches on Sunday, but they were big. Phil Hughes had just been removed from the game and Pressly was in with two on and two out in the sixth inning. Pressly came right at Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield and got him to fly out to center to end the inning. It was a pivotal moment in the game, where the Royals were a swing away from taking control of the game.

THE WINDOW HAS CLOSED: The Royals are nowhere near the championship-caliber team of a couple years ago. Their bullpen is not as powerful as it has been in the past. They are missing clutch hitters. Alex Gordon is a mess at the plate. (How did the Royals re-sign him?) Worst of all, their defense has dropped off. Merrifield botched a play in the fourth. He should have went to first for the sure out but instead flipped to Alcides Escobar to start a double play. But Escobar was shifted too far toward the hole and could not get there in time. Everyone was safe. Then Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer failed to connect for a 5-3 putout. Moose bounced his throw, and Hosmer missed his scoop attempt. They've always connected in the past. It doesn't look good for the Royals this season.

Twins and Royals delayed by rain; First pitch 2:15 p.m.

Well, the rain is down a to a light drizzle, but wind is blowing in from right field. Hopefully, these windy, chilly, dreary conditions will improve by gametime. After calling off last night's game, the Twins and Royals would love to get this one in and avoid playing two makeup games later in the season.

UPDATE: The rain continues, so the decision has been made to push the start time back an hour.

Sounds like the KC area got at least two inches of rain yesterday, with higher totals south and east.

The gametime forecast is 54 degrees and cloudy. But I've noticed that the updated forecast calls for showers starting around 3 p.m. :(.

Now the Twins, and all their pitchers, are in a run of three off days in five days. Everyone is rested, and the club has to think about going back to 12 pitchers soon. With the Red Sox coming to town next week, it's not a sure thing.

The Twins do need a fifth starter for Saturday against Boston, and all indications are that it will be righthander Nick Tepesch, who was called up to be a long reliever but has now not pitched in over a week.

Hector Santiago is expected to return to the Twin Cities tonight after attending funeral services for his grandmother. He will throw in the bullpen on Monday then start against Oakland on Tuesday.

Phil Hughes is on the mound for the Twins today. He's coming off of a solid start in Texas in which he held the Rangers to two runs over six innings. The Royals have a worse offense, but a fly ball pitcher like Hughes could get in trouble here. He might be the only one rooting for the strong wind from right field to continue during the game!


Brian Dozier, 2B
Max Kepler, RF
Miguel Sano, 3B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Kennys Vargas, DH
Jason Castro, C
Jorge Polanco, SS
Eddie Rosario, LF
Byron Buxton, CF

Phil Hughes, RHP


Whit Merrifield, 2B
Moose, 3B
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Salvador Perez, C
Alex Gordon, LF
Jorge Bonifacio, RF
Brandon Moss, DH
Alcided Escobar, SS

Jason Hammel, RHP

Final, 4/30 R H E
Minnesota 12-11 7 13 0
Kansas City 7-16 5 12 1