Giolito fires back at Donaldson, White Sox beat Twins 7-6
Lucas Giolito lobbed an expletive-laced response in Josh Donaldson’s direction after the slugger appeared to yell “Not sticky anymore,” after a first-inning homer, overshadowing Gavin Sheets’ successful debut for the White Sox in a 7-6 victory over the Twins.
Luzardo follows Manaea's stellar start, A's beat Twins twice
Matt Olson hit a grand slam, Mitch Moreland homered twice to back Sean Manaea’s shutout, then Jesús Luzardo followed with his own Game 2 gem as the Oakland Athletics swept a doubleheader against the depleted Minnesota Twins, 7-0 and 1-0 to run their winning streak to 10 games.
Twins coach Mike Bell, brother of Reds manager, dies at 46
FILE - This is a 2020 file photo showing Mike Bell of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. Twins bench coach Mike Bell has taken an indefinite leave from the team because of kidney cancer. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)FORT MYERS, Fla. – Minnesota Twins bench coach Mike Bell, the younger brother of Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, died Friday of kidney cancer. Mike Bell had surgery Jan. 28 to remove a growth that was discovered earlier that month. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said at the start of spring training that his top assistant in the dugout was “very, very optimistic” about his recovery.
Fungo golf for Giants pitchers; fans for MLB spring games
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Right-hander Kevin Gausman’s impressive day at spring training had nothing to do with any of the usual statistics, like strikeouts or innings pitched. Batting practice for San Francisco's pitchers took on a non-traditional look Thursday at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona. But the stands won't be empty — or full — when the Giants host their spring training opener Sunday. Scottsdale Stadium will have the lowest capacity at 9%, which is about 1,000 fans for Giants home games. Spectators at Scottsdale Stadium may get to see Gausman throw his lively fastball, but not a look at his Fungo golf skills.
Playoff experience: 3 make MLB debuts in 2020 postseason
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)It's normal for a baseball player to dream of making his big league debut or pitching in the postseason. He became the fifth player in the modern era to make his big league debut in a postseason game — and three of those newcomers did it this year. The Padres lost 5-1, but it was scoreless when Weathers came in — a reasonably high-pressure situation, compared to other players who made their debuts in the postseason. In 2015, Adalberto Mondesi made his debut for Kansas City in Game 3 of the World Series. "He’s here to play, and that’s why we carried him on this roster.”McClanahan's debut came in Game 1 of the AL Division Series on Monday night.
Astros sweep as Twins lose 18th straight in playoffs
"But what are they going to say now?”Nine months after Houston's rules-breaking, sign-stealing system was revealed, the Astros advanced to the Division Series in Los Angeles. The Twins are 0-18 in the playoffs since winning Game 1 of their Division Series at the New York Yankees on Oct. 5, 2004, a total of seven rounds lost. Since that date, the Astros are 43-35 in postseason play, winning 10 of 15 rounds with three trips to the World Series. In a three-game division series sweep by the Yankees last year, the Twins totaled seven runs and 22 hits. Baldelli declined to confirm whether Buxton was experiencing a recurrence of concussion symptoms that kept him out of the last two regular season games.
LEADING OFF: Wild, 8-game day opens with Bauer vs Fried
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)A look at what's happening around the majors Wednesday:___CRAZY EIGHTHow’s this for wild: MLB is set to stage eight postseason games on the same day for the first time. National League clubs will open their best-of-three wild-card series, while four American League teams are already facing elimination after starting Tuesday. With the expansion of the first round from a pair of wild-card games to eight best-of-three series, there are a maximum 65 possible postseason games this year. In the 1960s, there were 66 postseason games in the entire decade, with league championship series starting in 1969. Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 1.99 ERA) starts Game 2 following a successful first season with Chicago.
Astros win 4-1 in Game 1; Twins' record losing streak at 17
Houston Astros' Carlos Correa, left, and George Springer, center, jump in celebration of the Astros 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in Game 1 of an American League wild-card baseball series, Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. They know what it’s like," said manager Dusty Baker, after the Astros became the first team in major league history to win a game after reaching the postseason with a losing record. It didn’t go my way,” said Romo, who has three World Series rings with San Francisco and pitched in his 30th career postseason game. Minnesota’s previous win in the playoffs was notched in New York on Oct. 5, 2004, in Game 1 of the AL division series. UP NEXTThe Astros were waiting until after the game to announce their starter for Game 2, though Valdez's appearance took him out of the mix.
Twins shelve Donaldson for wild card series with calf injury
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson will miss the best-of-three AL first-round series against Houston because of a nagging injury to his right calf, and the team included rookie Alex Kirilloff on the roster that was set on Tuesday prior to Game 1. He has never played above Double-A but showed the club he was ready with strong performances at the team's alternate training site this summer. He can play the corner outfield positions and first base, giving manager Rocco Baldelli additional flexibility with Donaldson out. Like the Twins and Kirilloff, the Astros put outfielder Chas McCormick on their roster despite him never previously appearing in an MLB game. Manager Dusty Baker said McCormick was included for defense and potential designated runner duties.
LEADING OFF: Playoffs begin, Bieber vs Cole in prime matchup
Gerrit Cole delivered for the Yankees in his first season since signing a $324 million, nine-year contract, going 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA. “We think this is a good matchup.”For all Bieber and Cole have accomplished in the shortened regular season, it will mean little if they don’t perform well to start the best-of-three series. For instance, Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka has only played 72 regular season games, including just two against wild-card foe Cleveland. Both were injured Friday, sat out the final two regular season games as a precaution, then participated in a workout at Target Field on Monday. They open a wild-card series in Oakland hoping ace Lucas Giolito can play stopper.
LEADING OFF: Ailing players heal up, Yanks back in Cleveland
Minnesota has a couple of ailing hitters in third baseman Josh Donaldson (right calf) and center fielder Byron Buxton (mild concussion symptoms). Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton is improving and the team hopes he’ll be ready for the postseason opener. Brett Phillips exited Sunday’s game with right hamstring tightness, and fellow outfielder Manuel Margot (sore foot) was scratched from the lineup. Acuña was scratched Sunday with renewed irritation in his left wrist. Because of the reworked schedule caused by the virus outbreak, the Yankees didn’t play in Cleveland this year.
On final day, 2 NL spots and AL Central crown in play
San Francisco is still breathing, but needs help. San Francisco (29-30) needs a victory over the visiting Padres and a Brewers loss. “We just have to keep our head up and try to win,” San Francisco pitcher Johnny Cueto said. 2 seed in the AL — with a win at home against Cincinnati or a White Sox loss at home to the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central crown Saturday night even while losing to the crosstown White Sox.
LEADING OFF: NL playoff race wide open, AL nearly locked in
The Marlins, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers and Giants are the top teams still in contention -- and they’re packed tightly with slots available for one team from the NL East, another from the NL Central and then two wild cards. The Mets (26-31) and Rockies (25-31) are mathematically eligible but need to win out just to have a shot. AL-MOST OVEROnly one playoff spot remains open in the AL, and Michael Brantley and the Astros are on the verge of clinching it. The Twins are trying to seal the AL Central. The Chisox have lost five in a row, dropping them out of the AL Central lead and one game behind Minnesota.
White Sox beat Twins 4-3 to clinch playoff spot
Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu (79) and Eloy Jimenez celebrate the team's 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins in baseball game Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Chicago. The White Sox clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO – After clinching a postseason berth for the first time since 2008, the Chicago White Sox were low key during their on-field celebration. The White Sox assured themselves of no worse than a wild-card berth. White Sox: RHP Jonathan Stiever (0-0, 2.45 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Cincinnati.
Dunning pitches White Sox past Twins for 6th straight win
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dane Dunning delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Chicago. The AL-best White Sox also moved 16 games over .500 for the first time since they were 71-55 on Aug. 26, 2012. Byron Buxton hit his third career inside-the-park homer for Minnesota, but the Twins finished with just four hits. But the White Sox went ahead to stay with three runs in the bottom of the third. White Sox: LHP Jace Fry threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings after he was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.
MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson, calls for justice continue
He's just glad that on Jackie Robinson Day, they're conversations that everyone is willing to have, even if the answers aren't always clear. For Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, Jackie Robinson Day comes at a good time. Coming up in the Dodgers organization and the name Jackie Robinson, it just meant so much more. MLB announced Friday that its partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation would extend through 2023. It includes $3.5 million to support the foundation's Scholarship Program, the Jackie Robinson Museum and the annual JRF ROBIE Awards.
Maeda's no-hitter ends in 9th; Twins top Brewers 4-3 in 12
Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda of Japan throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)MINNEAPOLIS Kenta Maeda lost a no-hitter in the ninth inning for the Minnesota Twins, who blew a three-run lead but came back to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in 12 innings. Maeda's no-hit bid was ended by Eric Sogard's soft single that soared just over the glove of a leaping Polanco at shortstop. Maeda retired 21 straight batters in a stretch from the first to the eighth innings and finished with 12 strikeouts. Opponents are 0 for 22 against Hader this season, with four walks and one hit by pitch 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
Twins rout Brewers, 12-2, behind Kenta Maeda
Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Jake Cave celebrate after a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)MILWAUKEE Byron Buxton hit two solo home runs and Miguel San added another as the Minnesota Twins jumped to an early lead and routed the Milwaukee Brewers 12-2 on Wednesday night. The victory gave the AL Central-leading Twins a 2-1 series win over the Brewers, who dropped to 2-6 at home. Minnesota starter Kenta Maeda (3-0), in his first season with the Twins after being acquired from the Dodgers in February, retired the first 11 batters he faced. Brewers: In Chicago facing Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.12 ERA), who has thrown 16 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Garca homers twice as White Sox pound Twins 10-3
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)CHICAGO Leury Garca homered from both sides of the plate, helping Dallas Keuchel and the Chicago White Sox pound the Minnesota Twins 10-3 on Saturday. Keuchel allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his White Sox debut after agreeing to a $55.5 million, three-year contract in December. McCann singled in Adam Engel before Garca belted a three-run drive off left-hander Devin Smeltzer in the seventh, making it 10-3 White Sox. It also was the 11th time a White Sox player had connected from both sides of the plate in a single game. WORTH NOTINGThe White Sox announced right-hander Carson Fulmer had been claimed off waivers by Detroit.
Roster shuffle: Plans change in MLB because of health issues
PHOENIX The Minnesota Twins have shuffled their on-field staff to protect the health of some of their older coaches. I think we all know that we're making the right decision, but that doesn't mean it feels good," Baldelli said. The defending World Series champion Nationals will begin their title defense without Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross, who both declined to play because of health concerns. We are one hundred percent supportive of their decision to not play this year, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said in a statement. Cleveland's 61-year-old manager Terry Francona said he's not nervous, even though he's had previous health issues.