Despite losing two more players to other teams, the Twins appeared unfazed in their return to Target Field and beat the Cleveland Indians, 5-4, in Game 1 of their three-game series. The Twins might be 3-6 versus the Kansas City Royals this season, but they are 7-3 against the Tribe.
Ervin Santana continues to work his way back from a long offseason and did not figure in Monday’s decision. The bullpen held the line after Santana gave up four runs and closer Fernando Rodney was credited with the win. Catcher Mitch Garver doubled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Twins earned their fifth walk-off win of the season.
Perhaps the best news, though, was that recently recalled slugger, Miguel Sano, went 2-for-3 with a double in Monday’s game. Let’s hope this is just the beginning of a hitting streak for star-in-the-making Sano.
Kyle Gibson gets the ball Tuesday.
-Prior to Monday’s game, the Twins sent left-handed reliever, Zach Duke, to the Seattle Mariners and starter, Lance Lynn, to the New York Yankees. In return, according to MLB.com, the Twins received: Tyler Austin, Luis Rijo, Chase De Jong and Ryan Costello.
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Austin could immediately join the Twins, as he’s a career .230/.287/.459 hitter with 15 homers and 43 RBIs in 85 games with the Yankees. He’s split time between Triple-A and the Majors this season, hitting .223/.280/.471 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 34 games with New York. He’s under team control through 2022 and fills a need for the Twins, who didn’t have any first-base prospects close to the Majors.
Rijo, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound Venezuela native, has pitched well at three levels this season, posting a combined 2.77 ERA with 32 strikeouts and three walks in 39 innings between Rookie-level Pulaski, Class A Staten Island and Class A Advanced Tampa.
De Jong has Major League experience, going 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in seven appearances (four starts) with the Mariners last year. This season, he’s posted a 3.80 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 34 walks in 120 2/3 innings at Double-A Arkansas.
Costello, a 31st-round pick in the 2017 Draft, was hitting .266/.360/.486 with 16 homers, 24 doubles and 70 RBIs in 101 games at Class A Clinton. At 22 he’s a tad old for the level, but he’s a career .285/.381/.529 hitter in two seasons in the Minors, while seeing time at first base and third base.