Found September 04, 2013 on
Fox Sports North:
Chicago White Sox
Sweeps for the Minnesota Twins have been few and far between this season, but they've come a little easier against the Houston Astros.
The Twins will try to close out an impressive offensive series with another win in Houston on Wednesday.
Minnesota (61-76) opened the set with a 10-6 win Monday, tying a season high with four homers including a ninth-inning grand slam courtesy of Chris Colabello. The Twins nearly squandered Tuesday's game after All-Star Glen Perkins blew his fourth save, but they closed out a 9-6 win in 12 innings with Clete Thomas scoring the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and Darin Mastroianni tacking on a two-run double.
The Twins already swept Houston at home from Aug. 2-4. Their only other sweep of at least three games was against the Chicago White Sox from June 18-20.
Trevor Plouffe was 4 for 6 on Tuesday, hitting his 14th home run and extending his hitting streak to eight games. He's batting .328 over his last 16 contests with seven doubles and homers in each of his last two.
Brian Dozier also homered and owns a .917 on-base plus slugging over his last 28 games with eight homers and 20 RBI.
Alex Presley also continues to give Minnesota a nice spark since being acquired from Pittsburgh last week in the Justin Morneau deal, going 5 for 14 in three games with three runs.
The Twins rank near the bottom of the AL with 133 homers but have recorded nine in their last five games.
That could mean trouble for Houston scheduled starter Jordan Lyles (6-7, 5.12 ERA). He is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA over his last three starts but has also allowed five homers over his last 13 1-3 innings.
He limited Seattle to four hits and three runs over six innings of a 3-2 loss on Thursday, but all runs came on two homers.
"The stuff wasn't there throughout the game," Lyles said. "They put some really good swings on some pitches. My ball wasn't getting that downward action like I am used to, and a good offensive team will make you pay."
For Minnesota, Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.13) likely comes in feeling confident after notching his second career win. It came almost a year after the first as he limited Texas to two runs - one earned - and five hits over six innings in a 3-2 road victory on Friday. He pitched opposite Yu Darvish, who had a no-hitter through six innings and fanned 11 batters.
"I don't care who it's against," Hendriks told the team's official website. "I just want to pile them up a little bit. But it was a big thing for my confidence. I relied pretty much solely on my sinker and my slider, and it paid off."
With All-Star Jason Castro day-to-day after spraining his right knee Monday, Houston went with Cody Clark behind the plate Tuesday. Clark was 0 for 4 and still seeks his first major league hit after 17 unsuccessful at-bats with seven strikeouts in his first six games. The Astros could also use Matt Pagnozzi after acquiring him from Atlanta for cash considerations.
Neither starting pitcher has faced the opposing team, though Presley is 4 for 11 off Lyles with a homer and a triple.
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Your browser does not support iframes. Minnesota Twins left fielder Darin Mastroianni broke his belt with a leaping catch, but was conveniently able to swap it out with a teammate in the bullpen, during Tuesday night's game in Houston. It happened in the bottom of the fourth inning as Astros batter Jose Altuve hit a hard fly ball to left. Mastroianni was able to track it down...
Minnesota Twins left fielder Darin Mastroianni helped out his starting pitcher Tuesday by making a diving catch against Houston. Then a Twins reliever had to return the favor by giving Mastroianni a helping hand -- and a belt.
Mastroianni dove to make a catch on a Jose Altuve fly ball to left field for the first out of the fourth inning. There was a problem, though: as Mastroianni...
The Minnesota Twins are giving right handed pitcher Mark Hamburger a second chance.
Hamburger, 26, was suspended for 50 games after testing postie for drug use. He was released by the Houston Astros in February meaning he will have to serve the suspension before he can play.
The Twins are banking on Hamburger making a turn around with his life.
“I guess we’ll see,” Brad Steil...
I have said this for ever STOP TAKING CATCHERS WITH FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS. It was sometime ago so you probably don’t recall me e-mailing everyone and saying if Mauer doesn’t turn into one of the best catchers in baseball I wouldn’t draft another high first round catcher again as long as I live. He’s the only catching prospect that I’ve seen that all the scouts said couldn’t...
Clete Thomas scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the 12th inning and Darin Mastroianni added a two-run double, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Houston Astros 9-6 on Tuesday night.
Thomas reached on a fielder's choice and went to third on Josmil Pinto's double. Kevin Chapman (0-1) then uncorked a wild pitch with pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit at the plate.
This is the time of year when baseball roster expand, minor league players make their major league debuts and others gain valuable playing time.
This year, however, the Rochester Red Wings have other plans.
Rochester is the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. On the Red Wings' last day of the regular season Monday, they snuck into the International League playoffs as...
The Minnesota Twins hope the success achieved on their recent road trip will provide them with enough momentum to end their long home slide.
They'll look to avoid an eighth consecutive defeat at Target Field on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Though Minnesota (61-77) fell 6-5 at Houston on Wednesday, it took four of six against the Astros and Texas to win consecutive...
Chia-Jen Lo's 93-mph first-pitch fastball jumped off Chris Colabello's bat and soared majestically toward the Houston Astros bullpen in deep right-center field.
Some 393 feet later in the top of the ninth inning the Twins' prove-it-to-me rookie slugger had his first big-league grand slam and the Twins had completed their Labor Day comeback with eight unanswered runs...
Ron Gardenhire was a little worried about the Twins’ past two games in Houston. Long reliever Anthony Swarzak threw a season-high 70 pitches Monday meaning the Twins’ long reliever and early-inning bailout artist was unavailable — “and we’ve got a couple of kids going” the manager said.
Pedro Hernandez didn’t pitch like a kid though. Making his first major league start...