The Twins’ home opener is Thursday against the Houston Astros and there’s a good chance, based on the way they have come roaring out of the gates, that the team remains undefeated by then.
That’s because the Twins swept the Kansas City Royals over the weekend and started the week with an 11-1 blowout of the Miami Marlins.
And after starting the season 0-for-7 with four strikeouts, no one has been hotter than slugger (!) Joey Gallo, who doubled and hit two home runs against the Royals on Sunday, then followed that with another three-run blast on Monday.
The Twins scored 11 runs on 10 hits, including six-extra base hits: A triple, a double and four home runs. In addition to Gallo leaving the yard, Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach and Ryan Jeffers homered as well.
All that offense made a winner out of Tyler Mahle, who allowed a run over five innings with seven strikeouts. Kenta Maeda gets the ball on Tuesday.
Extra innings …
-I guess if there’s one potential hiccup in remaining undefeated going into the home opener, it’s Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara, the defending National League Cy Young award winner. He gets the ball opposite Maeda.
-The Marlins do not look very good, but they do have ex-Twin Luis Arraez, who drove in the only run for the Fish on Monday.
-Kepler homered and then had to exit the game later due to right knee soreness. Let’s hope it is no more serious than that.
-Gallo hit a home run on Monday, but was a sizzling 3-for-4 with a double and two home runs in the finale against the Royals. He also scored three runs and drove in four more.
-Oregon state man Larnach has found a home hitting cleanup in the lineup. He is hitting .438 with seven hits in 16 at bats, including a home run, and has driven in five runs and scored four of his own.
-The Twins and Tampa Bay Rays are the only undefeated teams in all of baseball at 4-0. The Philadelphia Phillies are the only winless team at 0-4.
-The Twins started the 2017 season with a 4-0 record. Just like this season, they swept the Royals and then beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1. Phil Hughes allowed a run over six innings and closer Brandon Kintzler earned the save, walking two and striking out two. The Twins were a wild card team that season.
-It’s a good thing the Twins are hot because they are going to need all the heat they can get for Thursday’s opener. The forecast for Minneapolis on April 6 is a daytime high of 36 degrees with an overnight low of 21, according to the National Weather Service.