YOUR FIRST PLACE TWINS: Patient at bats. Timely hits. A solid start. Spotless relief. And a highlight reel catch in the outfield by Byron Buxton. Those are things that first place teams do. And the Twins checked off one box after another as they beat Oakland 7-3 on Wednesday. The Twins won their fourth straight game and have won six of their last seven to slide into first place in the American League Central Division after the White Sox were downed by the Royals. Of course, there's a long way to go. But the Twins continue to show that they are not the 103-loss mess that they were a year ago. Each day above .500 proves it.
SANTIAGO HONORS GRANDMOTHER IN STYLE: Hector Santiago went to high school and little league fields in New Jersey to throw while he was in town for his grandmother's funeral. His brother, Anthony - who was his catcher in high school - worked with him. He took the mound on Wednesday wearing custom made cleats in honor of his grandmother, Nelly Rodriguez. He face was on one side. "In Loving Memory of Mama," was on the other. Even the shoelaces had bible verses on them. It was impressive. Santiago wore them for three innings before taking them off to be authenticated.
QUIBBLES: The Twins scored twice in the first inning but should have scored three runs. Joe Mauer was on third when Jason Castro hit a fly ball to left fielder Khris Davis, who has MY arm. Davis was in medium-deep left field. Mauer should have taken off for the plate, which was confirmed when Davis' wounded duck came floating into the infield. The other was after Eddie Rosario drove in Eduardo Escobar with a single in the sixth. Byron Buxton attempted a surprise bunt but popped it up to the pitcher. I think Buxton has the bunt at his disposal at any time - provided it was the right time. I would have liked to have seen him swing the bat there. Then again, if he gets the bunt down and reaches base, I might react differently. Buxton, by the way, made his latest great catch when he dived to rob Khris Davis of a hit in the fourth.