Here are three thoughts from LEN3 following the Twins win over Detroit:
KEPLER SURGING: Last night, Max Kepler got hits in each of his last two at bats, and Twins manager Paul Molitor hoped it was the start of hot streak for the outfielder. Kepler then homered in his first at bat then hit a two-strike slider from Daniel Norris opposite-field single in his second at bat. "Hopefully he's getting a little confidence back." A productive Kepler could be a big boost to the offense down the stretch.
ESCOBAR'S GLOVE: Eduardo Escobar has done a decent job of filling in for Miguel Sano at the plate. Where he's better than Sano is in the field, and he was credited with four assists on Friday. Among those, he helped start a 5-4-3 double play in the second and made a nice play to his right to get a force out in the eighth. The Twins knew they had a capable glove there in place of Sano, so any offense is a bonus. But you wonder how a few games would have turned out if Sano, who's not a smooth at Escobar, had been on the hot corner.
GIBSON: Twins starters since the All-Star break: Kyle Gibson: 7-3, 3.57 ERA. Ervin Santana: 5-2, 3.87. Jose Berrios: 4-6, 4.37. Bartolo Colon: 4-6, 5.33. Think about that.
WILD CARD WATCH: At the time of this writing, the Angels had lost 3-0 to Houston to fall 3.5 games back of the Twins. Texas was losing at Oakland. If that holds up, the Twins will have a 3.5 game lead on both teams with eight games to go.