BALTIMORE – The Twins made a move to bolster their bullpen following Friday's 4-3 victory over Baltimore, trading with Milwaukee for veteran lefthander Neal Cotts. The Twins will send the Brewers a player to be named later or cash.
Cotts, 35, is 1-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 50 games. In 49⅓ innings, he has given up 18 earned runs on 44 hits and 17 walks with 48 strikeouts. Lefthanded hitters are batting .185 against him while righthanded hitters are batting .284. He has given up 18 home runs, including two over his past three appearances.
Cotts, in his 10th season, is 21-24 with a 3.96 ERA. He made his big-league debut in 2003 with the White Sox but didn't appear in the majors from 2010 to '12.
Righthander A.J. Achter was sent back to Class AAA Rochester to make room for Cotts.
Hunter battles slump
Torii Hunter had a simple approach when he played with Detroit the past two seasons: Just get on base for Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.
Hunter hit .304 in 2013 and .286 last season. There were many times in which he was content to slap a line drive to right for a single.
"I let those guys supply the power," Hunter said. "Whatever I did was a plus."
Back with the Twins, Hunter has felt the need to be more of a run producer. His 18 home runs are his most in a season since 2011, and his 61 RBI are third-most on the team. On July 11, he homered into the third deck at Target Field against the Tigers. So he still has good power.
But he is hitting only .234 and entered Friday in a 1-for-29 skid. After lining out and walking, he finally hit a double in the sixth inning against the Orioles.
"I'm swinging for the fence to add a little more power to this team," said Hunter, who scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning after getting hit by a pitch from Darren O'Day. "But I should be able to not hit .230."
Hunter has been working with hitting coaches Tom Brunansky and Rudy Hernandez, but he feels his problem is more mental than physical. He thinks he is on the right track, pointing to his plate appearance Thursday when he fell behind 0-2 with the bases loaded but worked a walk to force in a run.
Let it Sano
Maybe Hunter will be encouraged to return to his slap-hitting ways since Miguel Sano has been a force in the middle of the Twins lineup.
Sano on Thursday hit his third two-run homer in four games. That gave him 10 for the season in only 41 games, the fastest any Twins player has gotten to double-digit home runs.
"He's one of those guys that you start looking at the composite numbers and how it's starting to add up in a relatively short amount of time," manager Paul Molitor said.
• Closer Glen Perkins on Saturday will play a little catch to see how his neck feels after taking two cortisone shots Wednesday to treat a bulging disk. If everything goes well, Perkins will probably throw in the bullpen Sunday. Molitor is going to stick with his plan to have Perkins available Tuesday.
• Outfielder Aaron Hicks is in the Twin Cities to continue his recovery from the strained left hamstring he suffered Wednesday that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. The Twins are confident he will be ready once the two weeks are up.
• Phil Hughes has not begun any baseball activities yet as he recovers from a sore back.
• Blaine Boyer, out because of a strained right elbow, is throwing from 120 feet and could throw a bullpen session early next week.