With best record in AL, Twins never want May to end
MINNEAPOLIS -- If Twins manager Paul Molitor had his way, May would never end.
"It's May 31st and I think maybe we're going to change tomorrow to May 32nd," Molitor joked shortly after his team recorded its 20th victory of the month.
The Twins capped off May with a 6-5 victory over Toronto on Sunday, marking the first time they've finished a month with 20 victories since 1991.
The victory also sealed the eighth series win of nine in the month and put Minnesota a half-game up for first place in the American League Central.
Competing in the stiff AL Central, the Twins were widely predicted to finish last, and many in the national media are using advanced statistics to examine how the team is winning and if or when it might tail off.
But catcher Kurt Suzuki said he's not a big stats guy and none of that concerns him.
"We're just having fun out there. We're not worried about stuff that we can't control. We're not worried about what people say," Suzuki said.
Despite that, right fielder Torii Hunter said the team is out to prove the critics wrong.
"That's always fun. They can swallow their words and choke on them. But other than that, we're just out there playing the game the way we know how," Hunter said. "I think it starts with Molitor, like I always say."
Hunter has been widely praised by his teammates for loosening up the clubhouse. But Sunday, it was his bat that did most of the talking. He knocked in two runs with a go-ahead double in the seventh inning to give the Twins a permanent lead.
Minnesota fought back from two deficits in the game, something it hasn't had to do much lately -- the team has been scoring early and sustaining those leads.
"They've played well enough over a period of time now where I think they believe they can find a way to hang around games and maybe come back," Molitor said. "We haven't had a lot of comebacks. We've had a lot of games that we've won from the start."
Minnesota ended May with a 30-19 record -- the fifth most victories through 49 games in team history. After the Twins starting 1-6 and finished April 10-12, Hunter said the team has made some adjustments.
"[We're] playing better defense [and] grinding at the plate," Hunter said. "We're doing a lot of different things -- coming up with some big hits. It's not just one guy. It's everybody."
And while some might be wondering if the Twins can keep playing at an above .600 clip, the Twins are happy with where they're at.
"It's a really good month. When you win 20 games you're doing some good things," Molitor said. "It's a tough pace to keep up, but we'll take what the month gave us for sure."