The Twins are making a move in the American League Central standings, and they now sit only 4.5 games behind Detroit. On Sunday, the Twins thrashed the Kansas City Royals 10-3, thanks to a two homerun game by Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer became the first Twins batter to homer twice in one inning, as the team rode an eight-run seventh to seal the victory. Carl Pavano pitched very well, earning the win, before Jeff Manship and Bobby Keppel finished the game off.
More importantly, both the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers lost on Sunday, and the Twins have gained two games in two days. On Monday, the Twins open up a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles, before facing Texas next weekend. If they can go on a run over the next six games, they will set themselves up for a huge three-game series against Chicago starting next Monday.
With their win on Sunday, the Twins swept an American League team on the road for the first time in almost a year, and the team is starting to play with confidence. Without slugger Justin Morneau once again, the Twins found lightning in Cuddyer’s bat, and also got two hits from Denard Span and Joe Mauer. Once Morneau comes back, the Twins could take over the American League Central.
Scott Baker will take the ball for the Twins in the opener on Monday, as he looks to earn his 12th win of the season. He has been one of the winningest pitchers in the baseball over the past few months, and will be facing 21-year old rookie Chris Tillman. Armando Gabino is slated to make his Major League debut on Tuesday, with Nick Blackburn closing out the series on Wednesday.
Gabino, who will be celebrating his 26th birthday next week, appeared in 36 games for the Rochester Red Wings, making five starts. He has been nearly untouchable his last three times out, with his last appearance coming Friday against Pawtucket. The young right-hander is 5-3 this season for the Wings, with one save, a 2.83 earned run average, and 55 strikeouts.