Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
CHICAGO — For two solid months, Fernando Rodney had been virtually automatic. In nailing down 15 straight save opportunities, the 41-year-old closer had put his name in the mix for a fourth career trip to the All-Star Game: all since 2012 and all in even-numbered years. Then came Thursday afternoon, June 28, at Guaranteed Rate Field, where Rodney finally blew a save but the Twins still prevailed 2-1 over the Chicago White Sox in 13 grueling innings and nearly five hours. Max Kepler’s bases-loaded walk against ex-teammate Hector Santiago provided the winning run after Charlie Tilson dropped Logan Morrison’s two-out drive to left-center for a gift double.
CHICAGO — CHICAGO — Addison Reed is back in the place where he began his career, but the well-traveled reliever's thoughts this week have been with the New York Mets and their ailing general manager Sandy Alderson. Reed, who made 145 appearances over parts of three seasons (2015-17) with the Mets, sent a text message of encouragement to Alderson on Tuesday, June 26, after the 70-year-old executive announced he was taking a leave of absence following a recurrence of an unspecified form of cancer.
MINNEAPOLIS — Byron Buxton, reigning Platinum Glove Award winner for the American League, has some simple advice for young outfielders learning to make plays on the warning track and beyond. "Don't be afraid of the wall," Buxton said before leaving for a rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester. "As long as you're not afraid of the wall, you're fine."
MINNEAPOLIS—Twins outfielder Ryan LaMarre was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester after the game Sunday, June 24, two days after another base-running mistake. Does that mean Byron Buxton, whose fractured left big toe has seemingly healed, is on his way to rejoin the club in Chicago after a weeklong rehab assignment? If so, Twins manager Paul Molitor wasn't saying. "We're going to have someone join us on Tuesday to just give us a little different look out there," he said. "We'll find out on Tuesday who that player is going to be."
MINNEAPOLIS—Jose Berrios struck out a career-high 12 batters during seven shutout innings as the Minnesota Twins snapped the Texas Rangers' seven-game win streak with a 2-0 victory on Sunday afternoon, June 24, at Target Field. Berrios (8-5) allowed just three hits in picking up his fifth win in his last six decisions. He walked two and left after throwing 107 pitches, 70 of which were strikes. Rex Grossman and Eddie Rosario each had two hits for the Twins who snapped a three-game losing streak. Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his 17th save.
MINNEAPOLIS—Ervin Santana's slow-moving recovery from Feb. 6 finger surgery caused Twins manager Paul Molitor to reflect for a moment Saturday morning, June 23, in his office. "Man, it's been a rough journey," Molitor said before revealing that his 35-year-old all-star right-hander had failed to touch 90 mph in a 45-pitch live batting practice session Friday in Fort Myers, Fla.
MINNEAPOLIS—Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was not in Wednesday's lineup against Boston Red Sox left-hander David Price, but that had nothing to do with getting hit by pitch twice the night before. "Little sore today, but it's all good," Mauer said. "It means you get on base twice. That's a good thing, but you don't want to take it on the jaw unless you have to."
MINNEAPOLIS—Addison Reed pronounced himself "refreshed" after making just one relief appearance in a span of eight days, but the veteran right-hander might need to wait to reclaim his setup role. "I think everyone thought it was a good chance for him to maybe step out of that role, at least temporarily, and try to find maybe a couple of spots to get him going," Twins manager Paul Molitor said before Tuesday's series opener against the Boston Red Sox. "I'm going to use him when I think it's the right time. I'm not sure exactly when that's going to be right now."
For Eddie Rosario, the routine is always the same. Ten minutes before the game's first pitch, you will find him in the nearest indoor batting cage, working feverishly on his left-handed swing with Twins assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez. "I'll throw to him: Short toss, overhand, hard," Hernandez said. "Then he's got to do a lot of breaking balls on the machine. That's helping him track the pitch. If he doesn't do that, he doesn't feel comfortable."
CLEVELAND — Before flying back to the Twin Cities after Sunday's game, Taylor Motter planned to seek out former Tampa Bay Rays teammate Brandon Guyer for a quick word. It was Guyer, a Cleveland Indians outfielder taking the mound for the first time as a professional, who retired three batters on a total of eight pitches in the Saturday, June 16, 8-3 loss to the Twins. Motter, the first batter Guyer faced, grounded out to third.