The Twins may have recently struggled with the Cleveland Guardians, but they own the Chicago White Sox and improved to 5-0 against the South Siders this season after an 8-2 rout of the club on Tuesday.
The Twins ran away from the Sox with power, hitting five home runs, including two from budding star and left fielder Alex Kirilloff. Now that Kirilloff has overcome his wrist issues, he has mashed. He did it at Triple-A St. Paul to start the year and he did it on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and three RBI. He’s hitting .264 on the season, but is hitting .346 over the past week.
The power show made a winner out of starter Josh Winder, who is now 4-2 this season with a 3.12 ERA, and the bullpen looked even better. Caleb Thielbar struck out the side in the sixth inning on 11 pitches and Jharel Cotton got the final five outs — three of them via the strikeout — tossing 21 pitches, 16 for strikes.
The Twins go for the sweep on Wednesday. Joe Ryan gets the ball.
-The Twins are once again 10 games over .500 at 47-37 and have a 4.5 game lead over the Guardians because they keep losing to the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland took three of five games from the Twins during their recent series and are now on the verge of being swept by Motown. Go figure.
-On July 6, 1995, the Twins traded Rick Aguilera, the team’s all-time saves leader, to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Frankie Rodriguez. The move was met with disappointment, according to the Star Tribune.
“He’s our all-time saves leader. This doesn’t make sense,” said Kirby Puckett. “To me it seems the organization doesn’t want to win. I think that’s the message they’re sending.”
“It’s bad — I don’t understand it,” pitcher Kevin Tapani said. “I don’t see how you get better by subtracting an All-Star who’s a strong presence in your clubhouse. This is hard to take.”
“I guess this makes it pretty obvious how things will go around here,” said second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. “Nobody’s safe. It’s not a very good feeling. When I saw Aggie run in from the bullpen after he just got out there, I felt like I wanted to throw up.”
Aguilera wouldn’t be gone for long. He would return as a free agent for the 1996 season, but would be traded again by the Twins in 1999. Aggie spent 11 of his 15 seasons in the majors with the Twins. He recorded 318 saves over his career, 254 of them with the Twins. Although he was the Twins’ all-time saves leader at the time, Joe Nathan eventually replaced him in that category with 377 overall saves, 260 for the Twins.
Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com