August 12, 2017

Twins win 6 straight to retake second place in AL Central

The Twins’ longest winning streak of the season has come at the right time. After a dreadful road trip to end July, the Twins have bounced back to win six straight games, including a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The win streak has lifted the team into second place in the American League Central. The Twins are now two games over .500 and three and a half games back of the Cleveland Indians. They beat Detroit Friday night and have two more games with the Tigers before a key, three-game series with the Tribe. If the Twins want to recapture the division lead, this would appear to be a good time to do it.

And it’s not because of starting pitching, but because of hitting and the bullpen of late. Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier have caught fire, hitting as many as five home runs in one game versus the brewers this week. Kepler hit his 14th and Rosario his 15th in the Twins’ 9-4 victory over the Tigers on Friday.

Byron Buxton’s outstanding defense doesn’t hurt either.

Starting pitchers Dietrich Enns, who came over from the New York Yankees as part of the Jaime Garcia trade, and Kyle Gibson, saw limited action Thursday and Friday, so the bullpen took over and got the wins both days. They also were credited with wins on Monday and Tuesday.

Jose Berrios gets the ball on Saturday.

Extra innings…

-The starting pitcher who has pitched well was none other than Bartolo Colon. Colon pitched seven innings of shutout baseball on Wednesday to beat the Brewers, 4-0. In that game, Colon scattered five hits, with five strikeouts and one walk. It was win No. 237 of his career.

-Kepler, Rosario and Dozier hit five home runs in Tuesday’s 11-4 win over the Brewers. Kepler and Rosario hit two apiece, while Dozier hit a grand slam. On Friday, Kepler and Rosario homered again, while Dozier had to settle for a triple.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.