The Twins swept the Kansas City Royals this week, including back-to-back shutout wins Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s the first sweep for the Twins in more than two months because they have been playing mostly .500 ball since June. The last sweep for the Twins also was against the Royals.
The sweep was capped by Wednesday’s 4-0 win; however, starter Tyler Mahle, recently acquired from the Cincinnati Reds to bolster the rotation, exited the game after two-plus innings due to right shoulder fatigue. It’s both disappointing and unsurprising news because the Twins this season just can’t seem to escape the injury bug. If he winds up on the injured list, he likely will be replaced by lefty Devin Smeltzer, according to MLB.com.
Although the Twins won on Wednesday, they remain a game out of first place in the AL Central after the Cleveland Guardians, losing 4-2 to the Detroit Tigers going into the eighth inning, exploded for six runs to beat the Tigers 8-4. The White Sox, on the other hand, are now two games back after they lost to Houston, 3-2.
The Twins are off Thursday, then start a weekend set against the Texas Rangers. This should be another sweep for the Twins. A starter has not been named for Friday’s game.
-We played golf on Wednesday at Hiawatha Golf Club, an 18-hole public course southeast of downtown Minneapolis. The course has a lot of water, at least for my liking, and I sent a few balls to the bottom of some muddy streams and ponds. It’s a pretty nice course. One or two greens could have been in better shape, but overall it seems well maintained. It was hot, but not unbearably so, and although the course was busy, we never felt rushed. The golf course has also been in the news.
We played with a man who claimed to have gotten two hits off former Twins reliever Juan Berenguer, probably better known as Senor Smoke to Twins Territory. I don’t recall at what level of baseball this allegedly occurred, but it sounded like it was long after Berenguer’s major league playing days. After the second hit, Berenguer tipped his cap to him, the man said.
Berenguer was a key setup man to closer Jeff Reardon for the 1987 Twins that won the World Series. According to the Society for American Baseball Research:
He posted the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career, striking out 110 and walking only 47, and finished the season with an 8-1 record. He became known as Señor Smoke.
Some more photos: