Found October 02, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
Twinsrangers_779c
The Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays have long been out of the playoff race in the AL, but their matchup in the penultimate game of 2012 won't go totally unnoticed. That's because Twins All-Star Joe Mauer has an outside chance of winning his fourth batting title, and he'll likely need a big game Tuesday night when he faces Blue Jays rookie Chad Jenkins for the first time. Minnesota (66-94) is trying to avoid finishing with the worst record in the AL for the second straight year -- it is one game behind Cleveland -- after winning the Central Division in 2009 and 2010. Obviously, not much has gone right for the Twins this season, but Mauer's comeback year has given their fans something to root for down the stretch. After being limited to 82 games and hitting a career-low .287 in 2011, Mauer can set a career high for games if he plays Tuesday and Wednesday. That appears likely to happen, as he's hitting .322 and chasing Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (.329) in the race for the league's batting crown. "He wants to be in there battling for it," manager Ron Gardenhire said. Mauer won batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009. "He's pretty impressive," Gardenhire told the Twins' official website. "We've watched this for a number of years around here. He just continues on his pace. As I've said all along, people get frustrated with Joe if he's hitting just barely over .300. This guy, he's totally incredible. He can flat out hit." Mauer went 1 for 5 on Monday as Toronto (71-89) won 6-5 on rookie outfielder Anthony Gose's walkoff single in the 10th inning. The Blue Jays, who tied the game in the ninth, have won five of eight while Minnesota has lost three in a row. Mauer will now try to take advantage of the inexperienced Jenkins (0-3, 4.67 ERA), who is making his third career start. The right-hander has a 4.15 ERA in dropping his first two after 10 relief appearances. A first-round draft pick in 2009, Jenkins had his contract purchased from Double-A New Hampshire on Aug. 5. He'll be opposed by Anthony Swarzak (3-5, 4.91), who will get another opportunity to show the Twins he has what it takes to be a major league starter. The right-hander will be making his fifth start of the year and 44th appearance overall as he takes the rotation spot of Samuel Deduno, who is out with irritation in his left eye. Swarzak's four starts came in April and May, and he lost all of them while posting an 8.35 ERA. He has a 4.05 ERA as a reliever, pitching three scoreless innings in his only career appearance against Toronto on May 10. In 27 career starts, Swarzak is 6-16 with a 5.74 ERA.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Twins RHP Swarzak makes fifth start of season

Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak hadn't made a start since late May, but with the Twins running out of options, the right-hander got the call to start Tuesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Tuesday's start originally belonged to right-hander Samuel Deduno, but Deduno was skipped in his final start of the 2012 season due to eye inflammation. Swarzak had made four...

Twins' Revere nabs 40th stolen base in 2012

It's been over a decade since the Minnesota Twins have had a player steal 40 bases. But speedy center fielder Ben Revere accomplished that feat in Monday's 6-5 extra-innings loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. After leading off the seventh inning with a single to left field, Revere stole second base. It was his 40th steal of the season, as he became the first Twins player since...
CAT-LIKE REFLEXES

Twins' Trevor Plouffe avoids tag at 2nd base

Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe showed some great agility and quick thinking as he made it back to the bag while eluding being tagged after sliding past second base on a double during Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. It happened in the top of the seventh inning as Plouffe lined a double to the left field corner. The throw into second base was...

Twins' 2013 coaching plans should be set by Frida

Because the Minnesota Twins haven't cracked .500 all season, the team's focus has been on the future for some time. That doesn't mean answers have been forthcoming. With two games left in the season, the Twins not only don't know who will compose fourth-fifths of next year's rotation, but they also don't know whether their coaching staff will return intact...

Twins' 2011 year of injury, 2012 pitching woes

Last year was the first time in over a decade that the Minnesota Twins experienced a 90-loss season. The Twins had to beat the Kansas City Royals on the last day of the 2011 season to avoid losing 100 games for just the second time in franchise history. One year later, things haven't been much better for Minnesota, which again flirted with the notion of 100 losses. With just...

Tsuyoshi Nishioka agrees to a deal with Hanshin Tigers

His time in Minnesota did not go as expected, Tsuyoshi Nishioka is returning to Japan to play baseball. The Twins released Nishioka last week after the infielder agreed to forfeit his $3.25 million contract for next season. The future home for Nishioka will be on the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League. Nishioka struggled at the plate and in the field with the Twins. He hit...

Mauer a threat to Cabrera's triple crown hopes

MINNEAPOLIS Twins catcher Joe Mauer and Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera entered this past weekend's series as two of the top hitters in baseball. Cabrera held the lead in the American League batting title race, but Mauer was close behind him. After three games between Detroit and Minnesota at Target Field, Mauer crept to within .002 of Cabrera following Sunday's series...

Twins look to best starter for season finale

Two disappointing campaigns come to a close Wednesday night when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Minnesota Twins in the season finale for both teams. The Blue Jays (72-89) will be looking for a sweep and to end the year on a positive note following a disappointing second-half swoon that assures them of their worst record since 2004, when they went 67-94. Toronto will finish fourth...

Mauer acknowledges he can't catch Cabrera for batting title

After getting to within two points of the lead Sunday, Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer conceded the AL batting title to Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera after going 0-for-3 with a walk in the Twins' 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday at Toronto. "It's a little disappointing, yeah," Mauer said. "The last couple of weeks, I just approached it like...

Hendriks ends strong, looks to next season

MINNEAPOLIS The 2012 season has been a roller coaster ride for Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks, but he ended it on a high note Sunday in his final start of the year. Hendriks didn't walk away from the game with a win, but he held the high-powered Tigers offense scoreless for seven innings before Detroit came from behind for a 2-1 win at Target Field. For Hendriks, Sunday&...

Time flies when you're having fun: final day of baseball's regular season

Although it kinda feels like the MLB season just started, today is the final day of baseball's regular season - that is, unless the New York Yankees lose today and the Baltimore Orioles win, in which case it would force a one-game tie-breaker, which would be considered part of the regular season. They're both guaranteed to be in the postseason - it's still a matter of...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.