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
2 seed in the AL — with a win at home against Cincinnati or a White Sox loss at home to the Cubs. "It would mean a lot for all of us that have been here for the last couple of years,” White Sox infielder Yoán Moncada said through a translator. Oakland won the AL West and will also play a best-of-three first-round series at home beginning Tuesday — possibly against rival Houston. Cleveland can earn home-field advantage with a win over last-place Pittsburgh and a White Sox loss. Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central crown Saturday night even while losing to the crosstown White Sox.