Betsy Helfand / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS -- A bright blue, mostly cloudless sky and temperatures in the low 70s brought a crowd of nearly 40,000 fans to Target Field. Well, that and the team with the best record in major league baseball. An announced attendance of 39,913, the largest crowd at Target Field since Opening Day 2016, watched the Twins do what the Twins do. These days, that means getting a solid outing from their starter and hitting a home run or two — or, in the case of last Thursday, eight — along the way.
MINNEAPOLIS -- For many around baseball, Memorial Day marks the first time people start putting much stock into the standings. Rocco Baldelli doesn’t so much buy into that. Asked if there was a specific time he starts putting more stock into standings, the Twins manager said no. But while Baldelli and the Twins are focusing on the process, it’s impossible to ignore the strong results the Twins have produced to begin the year.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — It has been nearly 30 years since Tony Oliva joined the Twins for a road trip. And before it ended, he was already planning far, far in advance for his next trip. “If we make it to the playoffs and World Series and they invited me, I would be glad to go,” the Twins legend said. “Any time they invite me, I’m willing to go.” For now, Oliva started with the past week’s seven-game swing out to Seattle and Anaheim. The second part of the trip, Oliva’s good friend and former teammate, Rod Carew, joined the Twins. He lives in the area.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Minnesota Twins have run into bad weather all over the country this season, from Baltimore to New York to Minneapolis. Now, the most improbable: Southern California. Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, which was postponed when an afternoon storm soaked the field at Angel Stadium. The teams will make up the game at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 23, on what was a scheduled off day for both teams.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — These days, there’s data for everything. Minnesota Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey was recently perusing some injured list data the team has on ankle sprains and found a varied range of outcomes. “Some guys come back in a couple weeks, some guys come back in six weeks,” Falvey said. The Twins seem to be optimistic that catcher Mitch Garver’s high-ankle sprain is on the less severe side of the scale, and while they haven’t publicly laid out a timetable, they seem happy with the way Garver has been progressing.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Over his past 12 games, C.J. Cron has hit six home runs, driven in 12 and is hitting .380. The first baseman, who did not start on Monday, May 20, has given the Minnesota Twins pretty much everything they could have asked for and more early on when they grabbed him this offseason. But those numbers? They would make him the second-hottest hitter in the Cron family at the moment. The title belongs to his younger brother, Kevin, who is pretty much tearing the cover off every ball he sees in Triple-A.
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners would like you to know that they, too, can hit home runs. A night after watching Twins hitters light up their pitchers for six of them, the Mariners responded with three of their own Sunday, May 19, to beat the Twins 7-4 in the series finale at T-Mobile Park.
SEATTLE — A year ago, Austin Adams was out of baseball, looking for another opportunity. While he waited, he was doing some field renovations with one of his college coaches. “I just kind of had to go to work to provide for my family,” Adams said. But his agent was passing his name around, and he felt physically fine. It was just a matter of hoping that opportunity would present itself.
SEATTLE -- It was a brief interaction, and probably one of many just like it that Ken Griffey Jr. had on Friday night. But for Trevor May, it was a meeting he won’t soon forget as he met the hall of famer he grew up watching. “I don’t think he realizes how crazy that is for me, but it was cool,” May said. May, who was raised in Kelso, Wash., a couple of hours south of Seattle, grew up a Mariners fan. So even though the interaction was brief, it packed plenty of meaning to him.
SEATTLE — Nelson Cruz seemed confident Monday that his sore left wrist wouldn’t land him on the injured list. But as the days of the week piled up and Cruz remained out of the lineup, the Twins finally made a move, placing him on the 10-day injured list. The move is retroactive to May 14.