Betsy Helfand / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Over his past 12 games, C.J. Cron has hit six home runs, driven in 12 and is hitting .380. The first baseman, who did not start on Monday, May 20, has given the Minnesota Twins pretty much everything they could have asked for and more early on when they grabbed him this offseason. But those numbers? They would make him the second-hottest hitter in the Cron family at the moment. The title belongs to his younger brother, Kevin, who is pretty much tearing the cover off every ball he sees in Triple-A.
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners would like you to know that they, too, can hit home runs. A night after watching Twins hitters light up their pitchers for six of them, the Mariners responded with three of their own Sunday, May 19, to beat the Twins 7-4 in the series finale at T-Mobile Park.
SEATTLE — A year ago, Austin Adams was out of baseball, looking for another opportunity. While he waited, he was doing some field renovations with one of his college coaches. “I just kind of had to go to work to provide for my family,” Adams said. But his agent was passing his name around, and he felt physically fine. It was just a matter of hoping that opportunity would present itself.
SEATTLE -- It was a brief interaction, and probably one of many just like it that Ken Griffey Jr. had on Friday night. But for Trevor May, it was a meeting he won’t soon forget as he met the hall of famer he grew up watching. “I don’t think he realizes how crazy that is for me, but it was cool,” May said. May, who was raised in Kelso, Wash., a couple of hours south of Seattle, grew up a Mariners fan. So even though the interaction was brief, it packed plenty of meaning to him.
SEATTLE — Nelson Cruz seemed confident Monday that his sore left wrist wouldn’t land him on the injured list. But as the days of the week piled up and Cruz remained out of the lineup, the Twins finally made a move, placing him on the 10-day injured list. The move is retroactive to May 14.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Marwin Gonzalez found himself in an unfamiliar position Tuesday night, May 14. With Max Kepler getting a day off, the 30-year-old Gonzalez found himself starting in right field for the first time in his career. “When you suggest something to him, he believes he can do it and we believe he can do it, too,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. And so Gonzalez went out to right. Gonzalez, the Twins’ multi-positional every-day player, is getting closer and closer to being used as just that.
MINNEAPOLIS -- A day after finding out they avoided the worst with pitcher Martin Perez, who took a batted ball off the foot in Sunday’s game, the Minnesota Twins appear to have escaped serious injury with designated hitter Nelson Cruz, too. Cruz, who left Sunday’s game with left wrist soreness, said his MRI on Monday, May 13, came out clean. He is day-to-day but appeared confident that he would avoid the injured list and be able to swing a bat Tuesday or Wednesday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Willians Astudillo was behind the plate for a very important pitch Sunday afternoon, catching a throw from his mother, Ana Mercedes Astudillo. Saturday night after the game, Astudillo was asked about it and he, in turn, asked his mom. “We already practiced in the parking lot in my apartment,” Astudillo said before the first pitch. Astudillo was also behind the plate for Sunday’s game, starting in his first appearance off the injured list. He also led off for the first time this season, going 1-for-5 with a double.
MINNEAPOLIS -- First, they lost their starting pitcher, then they lost their designated hitter, and to top it off, they lost the game on Sunday. As the Twins have jumped to the top of the division, they have fortunate that their injuries have been relatively limited. But Sunday, May 12, in their 5-3 loss to the Tigers, Martin Perez had to leave after being smoked in the foot with a Nicholas Castellanos batted ball and Nelson Cruz left with a left wrist injury.
MINNEAPOLIS -- He may have given up three home runs, but the Twins view Saturday, May 11, as a positive step for Michael Pineda, who threw six-plus innings and took a no-decision in their 5-3 loss to the Tigers. Pineda gave up three runs on six hits while striking out five and not allowing a walk. He said last month he had been working on his slider command. He got nine of his 15 swinging strikes on Saturday with the pitch and said he felt “pretty good,” with it, though one of the home runs he gave up came via the slider.