MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins are tied for having the longest winning streak in the American League. In fact, they haven’t lost in 10 days.
Those numbers are a bit deceiving, obviously, as Minnesota has played just four games since April 13. Due to four postponements and a scheduled day off, there hasn’t been much consistency in the Twins’ schedule. After losing to the Mets on the 13th, the series finale against New York was postponed. Minnesota then won two straight against the Angels before that series’ final game was put on hold due to weather.
The Twins enjoyed two off days — one scheduled, one forced by weather — before topping the White Sox in two straight games on Saturday and Sunday. So though Minnesota is playing well as of late – with five straight wins through the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader — the Twins wish they were playing more frequently, too.
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“It’s definitely something I don’t think any of us have really been a part of, this many games knocked out like this,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Tuesday’s doubleheader, which included a rescheduled game from Monday. “You play a couple, then you have a couple of days. It is what it is. We’re just going to do the best we can.”
Target Field crews were working hard prior to Tuesday’s 1 p.m. first pitch to clear the snow that fell in Minneapolis overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning. That preparation included using hot water hoses to melt snow in the seating area. Head groundskeeper Larry DiVito and his crew were busy as well — as they have been all month — removing all the snow from the playing surface.
The Twins aren’t the only baseball team in town battling the elements in April. Many high school teams in the area have yet to play a game due to inclement weather that has left baseball diamonds covered in snow. For Twins general manager Terry Ryan and the rest of the front office, that has put a damper on scouting local players.
“Some of these high schools here haven’t played a game. That’s concerning,” Ryan said Tuesday. “We’re getting to the point now where we’re almost into May. That draft’s going to be here before we know it. That’s the big effect of the weather. Even if you do get a look at a kid, it’s going to be in questionable conditions anyways. … That’s the biggest sorrow I have. These guys can’t even get on a field, and it’s not going to be anytime soon again.”
Arcia launches first big league homer: Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia connected on his first major league home run in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The 21-year-old Arcia took Marlins starter Jose Fernandez deep to right field on the first pitch for a three-run shot in the fourth inning that gave Minnesota a 4-3 lead.
Arcia has shown power in the minor leagues, as he hit a combined 17 homers last season with two different teams. He hit three homers at Triple-A Rochester in 10 games this season before he was promoted to the majors.
Tuesday marked just his fourth game in the majors and he had one hit in 10 at-bats prior to the home run. His three-run blast landed on the plaza in right field, just beyond a section of seats. It was estimated at 401 feet.
Slowey returns to Minneapolis: Former Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey is back in the major leagues after spending 2012 in the minors and rehabbing an injury. The 28-year-old right-hander is also back in Minnesota, where he spent the first five years of his big league career. Slowey is now a member of the Miami Marlins rotation and is 0-2 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts this year. He won’t face his former team, though, as he’s not scheduled to pitch in Tuesday’s doubleheader.
During his tenure with the Twins, Slowey was 39-29 with a 4.66 ERA in 100 appearances (90 starts). He was traded to Colorado after the 2011 season but never pitched in the majors for the Rockies because he was traded to Cleveland less than two months after he was acquired by Colorado. Slowey spent the 2012 season at Triple-A Columbus and was granted free agency last November.
He signed with the Marlins in January and has seemed to resurrect his career after making Miami’s 25-man roster as a nonroster invitee this spring.
“We know the kid can pitch,” Gardenhire said. “We know he’s got a decent arm, he knows how to pitch, he works fast, he does all those things. I’m happy for him that he’s doing well and healthy and back in the big leagues.”