May 4, 2024

Got sausage? Twins win again, streak stands at 11 games

The Twins ran their current winning streak to 11 games on Friday, perhaps showing the baseball naysayers that the winning is no fluke.

There has been reason to wonder because a large part of their success has come at the hands of two of the worst teams in baseball: the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels.

But on Friday, the Boston Red Sox brought their 18-14 record to Target Field and fared no better, losing 5-2 to the Twins.

The Twins scored an early run and then took advantage of some walks, two Boston mistakes (a throwing error and pitch-timer violation) and scored four runs to pull away from the Red Sox.

Twins reliever Cole Sands served up two runs to make things interesting, but Caleb Thielbar secured the final out of the inning and then Jhoan Duran closed out the game on 11 pitches. Of those 11 pitches, I counted only two that were under 100 miles per hour.

Pablo Lopez gets the ball Saturday.

Extra innings…

-Other than the two runs served up by Sands, Twins pitching was very stingy. Starter Chris Paddack pitched six shutout innings and reliever Griffin Jax struck out the side in the seventh on 11 pitches.

-How about catcher Ryan Jeffers and utility man Willi Castro? Both got off to very slow starts at the plate this season, but look at them now. Jeffers is hitting close to .300 and Castro has hit better than .400 the past two weeks to raise his average to .282.

-The Twins are now 18-13 and have moved into third place in the division. It’s hard to believe that after winning 11 straight games that’s as far as they have advanced, but the AL Central is no longer a laughing matter. A year ago they were the laughingstock of baseball, but the division has flipped that script to become one of the most competitive. Four of the five teams have winning records. The Guardians and Royals both have 20 wins and the Tigers and Twins have 18. It appears it’s going to be a close race until the end.

-Up next for the Twins is a 12-game winning streak, last accomplished in 1991 and 1980, the latter a topsy-turvy run for the team from Minnesota. Manager Gene Mauch didn’t survive the season and the Twins were 10-21 in August, including a nine-game skid.

But in September, the Twins went 17-7, including that 12-game run. Pitcher Jerry Koosman, originally from Minnesota but best known for being a Met, joined the Twins in 1979. Kooz won three times during the winning streak.

The Minneapolis Tribune was there for the 12th straight win.

“We’re trying to make something out of an otherwise dismal season,” infielder Roy Smalley said about the streak to the paper. “It’s been a season of such low points. We finally had a few highs and everybody liked it.”

As part of the streak, the Twins swept a doubleheader from the Rangers.

The always colorful Fort Worth Star-Telegram put its own spin on the state of the two teams.

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins view these dog days of the 1980 season from different ends of the motivational spectrum.

“While the Rangers have hung out the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign for the rest of the year, the Twins, a team with a lot less talent but a lot more heart, keep grabbing for every last ounce of gusto and momentum they can get their hands on.

“It’s a secret ingredient called pride,” explained Minnesota manager John Goryl Thursday night after his team swept a double-header from the down-and-out Rangers, winning the first game 6-3 and the nightcap 4-1 to run its winning streak to 11 games.

“These kids when they started winning they kinda liked it. Winning is a lot like losing it’s contagious.

“Don’t the Rangers know it. Their current string of ineptitude includes 10 losses in their last 12 games and 17 in their last 21. They would have an easier time shaking the Bubonic Plague.”




Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.