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."

Older Post

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

Newer Post

Reliever O'Rourke has torn elbow ligament, needs Tommy John surgery