ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Except for a two-game set in 1998, the Twins had never swept a series in Texas at the ballpark now known as Globe Life Park. But their newfound success doesn’t mean they’re sorry to see it go.
The Rangers will open air-conditioned, retractable-roofed Globe Life Field across the street next March, and the Twins won’t miss fighting the hot-and-humid conditions in this 25-year-old park.
“Stepping out onto the field and feeling the heat, literally, it’s a challenge,” manager Rocco Baldelli said of Sunday’s afternoon game, which started in 95-degree heat but reached 99 by the third inning. It never hit 100, however, as the afternoon temperatures did Friday and Saturday, before the 7:05 p.m. start times. The Twins have played seven games in 100-degree heat over the past 25 seasons, and all of them came in this ballpark.
“These are long games. It’s not easy to stand out there during some long innings,” Baldelli said. “Toward the middle and end of the game, sometimes you do feel it, and there’s some fatigue for every player.”
Some more so than others. Max Kepler left the game after playing center field in the sun for six innings, with a condition described as “heat illness.”
“Max is going to be fine. Max was dealing with the heat like everybody else, and it kind of hit him there,” Baldelli said of Kepler, who was sitting quietly on a couch in the clubhouse after the game. “He’s coming out of it well. He’s going to be fine.”
Cruz is ready
Nelson Cruz is eligible to come off the injured list Monday, and “it’s definitely a possibility,” Baldelli said. “We’ll wait, of course, until [Monday] to make any determination. But he’s doing very well. He’s swinging the bat well.”
Cruz ruptured a ligament in his left wrist Aug. 8 and immediately went on the injured list, but he discovered that the tear actually relieved the pain he had been feeling for months, and specialists agreed he can resume playing without having it surgically repaired.