How about these Twins? Back-to-back shutouts, 10 games over .500 and pitcher Jose Berrios improved to 6-1 Tuesday after he and three relievers six-hit the Toronto Blue Jays for a 3-0 win.
Berrios alone struck out five over seven innings with no walks and allowed only four hits. Meanwhile, catcher Mitch Garver was the hero of the day. He went 3-for-3, including a two-run home run, and drove in two runs.
Kyle Gibson gets the ball on Thursday.
-The Twins rotation is on some kind of tear. The numbers:
Berrios: 6-1, 2.53 ERA.
Martin Perez: 5-0, 2.83 ERA.
Jake Odorizzi: 4-2, 2.78 ERA.
These three have carried the Twins. Now, Gibson (2-1, 4.68 ERA) and Michael Pineda (2-3, 6.09 ERA) need to turn things around.
-The Twins have a four-game lead on the second-place Cleveland Indians.
-The San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval made history Monday when he became the first player since 1964 to hit a home run, steal a base and make a pitching appearance in the same game. And who did it in 1964? Ex-Twin Jim “Mudcat” Grant. Pitching for the Cleveland Indians, Grant pitched, hit a home run and stole a base against the Baltimore Orioles.
-USA Today is getting on the Twins’ bandwagon. In a story published Monday, with the headline, “Time to start believing in the Twins,” the paper said “there’s no reason not to consider the Minnesota Twins among the top contenders in the American League.”
-Catchers Jason Castro and Willians Astudillo are both injured, so the Twins might turn to first baseman, C.J. Cron, to spell Garver behind the plate, according to MLB.com.
Cron said that (Twins manager Rocco) Baldelli had first approached him on Monday about the possibility of catching, but serving as the emergency backstop is nothing new to the first baseman, who was a catcher for part of his career at the University of Utah before moving exclusively to first base when he was drafted by the Angels in 2011.