MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes it's amazing how much changes in just one month.After losing six out of seven heading into August, the Twins sold at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending Jaime Garcia to the Yankees and Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals. But at a players-only meeting shortly after the
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes it's amazing how much changes in just one month.
After losing six out of seven heading into August, the Twins sold at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending Jaime Garcia to the Yankees and Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals. But at a players-only meeting shortly after the Deadline, veterans stressed the importance of not worrying about outside factors and staying resilient.
Minnesota did just that with an incredible August that saw it go 20-10, punctuated by a walk-off 5-4 comeback win over the White Sox to complete a three-game sweep at Target Field on Thursday.
It marks the first time the Twins have won 20 games in August since 1967, and the 10th time the franchise has won 20 games in any calendar month. It's helped them head into September with a 1 1/2 game lead over the Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot, and they're only one game back of the Yankees for the first Wild Card.
"We battled and hung in there," manager Paul Molitor said about the win. "I think it was a little symbolic of the things we've been able to do during this good stretch. Every day, it seems like someone under-the-radar contributes to the outcome."
It's been a group effort for the Twins, who saw a club-record five players reach 20 RBIs in August, including Eddie Rosario (25), Jorge Polanco (23), Byron Buxton (22), James Dozier (22) and Max Kepler (21). Rosario tied the game with an RBI single in the ninth, while Kepler picked up two RBIs, including the game-winner on a walk-off hit by pitch.
"Spread the wealth," Molitor said. "We've had balance in our lineup with the emergence of some of our younger players. Any kind of stat like that, that shows more than one or two guys are getting the job done. It gives your offense a better chance to be consistent."
The Twins rallied from an early deficit only to see the White Sox take the lead on a solo homer from Alen Hanson in the ninth off reliever Matt Belisle. But Minnesota never panicked, completing the comeback to win its fourth straight.
"We were unfazed," Kepler said of the homer. "It's not nice to see that happen, but we've turned games around before. Just because it's the ninth doesn't mean it's a different approach."
Belisle, who picked up the win as a result, has been a huge part of the club's leadership, and he was beaming after the game about his team's resolve.
"I just love this group," Belisle said. "The energy has always been there, and there has been fight there since Day 1. It's fun to see the guys realize you need to keep that for 162 games. We're just playing such good ball right now, and everyone is so close. No matter what trades happened, we were going to play for each other."
The Twins still have much to prove in September, aiming for their first postseason berth since 2010, and fellow veteran Bartolo Colon likes his club's chances.
"The most important thing is we keep fighting," Colon said. "When we fall behind, we're able to come back and win games, and that's important. The young players gain confidence in those situations, and they know to perform in tight games."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.