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Gibson keeps A's at bay as Twins play spoiler

Righty allows 1 run in 7 1/3 as Minnesota heads home for final homestand
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

OAKLAND -- The Twins kept the A's from clinching a spot in the postseason on their watch, as Kyle Gibson threw 7 1/3 strong innings, Joe Mauer reached yet another milestone and Ehire Adrianza had an impressive day both defensively and at the plate.

It helped the Twins to a 5-1 win on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum to avoid a three-game sweep and keep Oakland's magic number at 1 to clinch a Wild Card spot. In their final road game of the season, the Twins also managed to avoid making dubious history, as they finish with 14 walk-off losses, which is one short of the Major League record.

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OAKLAND -- The Twins kept the A's from clinching a spot in the postseason on their watch, as Kyle Gibson threw 7 1/3 strong innings, Joe Mauer reached yet another milestone and Ehire Adrianza had an impressive day both defensively and at the plate.

It helped the Twins to a 5-1 win on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum to avoid a three-game sweep and keep Oakland's magic number at 1 to clinch a Wild Card spot. In their final road game of the season, the Twins also managed to avoid making dubious history, as they finish with 14 walk-off losses, which is one short of the Major League record.

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Gibson, who entered with a 4.66 ERA in eight starts since August, turned in a strong outing in his second-to-last start of the year. The right-hander scattered seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts to improve to 9-13 with a 3.68 ERA.

He came out for the eighth despite having thrown 105 pitches and exited after surrendering a one-out single to Stephen Piscotty on his 114th pitch of the afternoon. But relievers Tyler Duffey and Trevor May combined to get out of the inning unscathed with May striking out Ramon Laureano on a 3-2 fastball with two on. May also threw a scoreless ninth to get his first career save.

The lone run Gibson gave up came on a homer to Matt Olson to lead off the second. But he was helped by several strong plays from Adrianza, including a bare-handed play on a slow roller from Chad Pinder in the second and robbing Marcus Semien with a sliding stop to his right in the fourth. His best play came on a diving stop and throw to turn a double play to help Gibson escape a jam in the fifth.

Offensively, the Twins snapped out of their recent funk. Mauer went 2-for-4 to tie Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for the most times reaching base safely in Twins history. Mauer reached base safely for the 3,072nd time in his career with his single in the fifth.

Jake Cave started the scoring with a two-run homer off right-hander Trevor Cahill in the first to give the Twins an early lead. Minnesota rallied for three more runs in the fourth, keyed by a one-out single from Robbie Grossman and an error from third baseman Matt Chapman on a grounder from Tyler Austin.

Max Kepler made the A's pay with an RBI single to left while Adrianza stayed hot with an RBI double to knock Cahill from the game. It was Adrianza's sixth double over his last four games, and helped set up a sacrifice fly from Chris Gimenez to cap the scoring.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins

Twins take walk-off loss for 2nd straight game

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

OAKLAND -- The Twins keep finding themselves on the wrong side of history.

They tied a franchise record set in 1964 with their 15th walk-off loss of the season and their second in as many nights, as closer Trevor Hildenberger threw a game-ending wild pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning for a 3-2 loss to the A's on Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum. With one more road game left, Minnesota is one walk-off loss away from tying the Major League record, shared by several clubs. It was the second time this year they were walked off in consecutive games, joining Aug. 8-9 in Cleveland.

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OAKLAND -- The Twins keep finding themselves on the wrong side of history.

They tied a franchise record set in 1964 with their 15th walk-off loss of the season and their second in as many nights, as closer Trevor Hildenberger threw a game-ending wild pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning for a 3-2 loss to the A's on Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum. With one more road game left, Minnesota is one walk-off loss away from tying the Major League record, shared by several clubs. It was the second time this year they were walked off in consecutive games, joining Aug. 8-9 in Cleveland.

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"It's tough," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I like that we're fighting. I like that we're playing tough. I think guys are grinding as well as can be considered as far as the state of the season. And a lot of young players are learning on the fly and it's probably a good experience for them. It's disappointing we can't find a way to win those close games on the road."

Video: MIN@OAK: Piscotty scores winning run on wild pitch

Hildenberger was hurt by a leadoff double from Stephen Piscotty but struck out Ramon Laureano for the first out. But after an error from shortstop Jorge Polanco, the Twins opted to load the bases with one out. Hildenberger struck out Mark Canha on 11 pitches but uncorked a wild pitch on the first offering he threw to Matt Chapman to end the game.

"The ball stuck to my hand a little bit too far," Hildenberger said. "I don't usually miss by that much with fastballs, especially the first pitch of the at-bat. It's pretty frustrating that I held on to the ball too long in that situation."

Willians Astudillo, who went 3-for-4, helped spark the Twins in both the third and seventh innings, as he doubled to lead off the third against right-hander Mike Fiers and scored on a sacrifice fly from Joe Mauer. After Ehire Adrianza doubled with one out against reliever Jeurys Familia in the seventh, Astudillo brought home Adrianza with a single to left and went to second on the throw. But he was stranded there with Gregorio Petit popping out to short and Mauer flying out to center.

Video: MIN@OAK: Mauer opens the scoring with a sacrifice fly

Right-hander Chase De Jong, making his third start of the season, fared well early, throwing four scoreless innings until running into trouble in the fifth. De Jong gave up a one-out single to Laureano before serving up a two-run homer to Marcus Semien. It was the first homer allowed by De Jong this season and he nearly surrendered another one, but Jonathan Lucroy's deep drive to left hit the wall.

Video: MIN@OAK: Semien slugs a 2-run homer to left field

"Didn't feel great," De Jong said. "A little sluggish. My stuff wasn't really all that good. That's not even trying to downplay anything. That's just as an evaluator."

De Jong was removed from the game and reliever Oliver Drake helped escape the jam with two strikeouts, including Khris Davis with the bases loaded to end the inning. De Jong went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits to see his ERA rise to 3.86 on the year.

Video: MIN@OAK: Drake whiffs Davis to strand bases loaded

"I thought he had a nice mix there," Molitor said. "He's not overpowering but he's hitting spots and changing speeds. He had some really nice clean innings and pitches were minimal. Just ran into trouble. We were only thinking about trying to go five there if he could get through it. But the two-run homer and the threat looming, we went ahead and made the change, but I thought it was a decent outing."

SOUND SMART
The 1975 Astros, 1969 Giants, 1966 Red Sox, 1943 St. Louis Browns and 1924 Phillies are the only teams to suffer 15 walk-off losses in a season. Minnesota has already set the MLB record with eight walk-off losses coming on homers. They've lost 10 times on homers, twice on singles, once on an error and once on a wild pitch, with eight different pitchers getting the loss.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Polanco saved a run with a great play to end the eighth inning, snaring a hard-hit grounder from Matt Olson and making a strong throw to get him at first to end the inning. It stranded Chapman at third and kept the game tied at 2.

Video: MIN@OAK: Polanco saves a run in 8th with key stop

HE SAID IT
"It's frustrating. I was there for all of them, and several of them are my fault. It's frustrating. We need to be, and me especially, need to be better in tight games, on the road. Obviously that's the only place walk-offs happen, and we've got to be better." -- Hildenberger on the walk-off losses, as the Twins are 43-31 at home and 28-52 on the road

UP NEXT
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (8-13, 3.78 ERA) will start for the Twins in the series finale Sunday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Gibson went 6 2/3 innings against the Royals last time out, but gave up five runs on a season-high-tying 11 hits. He has a 4.66 ERA over his last eight starts. Right-hander Trevor Cahill (6-3, 3.77 ERA) starts for Oakland after being out two weeks with a back injury.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Willians Astudillo, Trevor Hildenberger, Chase De Jong

Twins call up Graterol to bolster catching depth

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

OAKLAND -- With Mitch Garver not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on a foul tip Sept. 12, the Twins purchased the contract of catcher Juan Graterol from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.

Graterol was on vacation in Miami with his family when he got the news he'd be called up to join the Twins on Saturday and said he was excited about his change of plans.

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OAKLAND -- With Mitch Garver not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on a foul tip Sept. 12, the Twins purchased the contract of catcher Juan Graterol from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.

Graterol was on vacation in Miami with his family when he got the news he'd be called up to join the Twins on Saturday and said he was excited about his change of plans.

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"I was a little surprised, to be honest with you," Graterol said. "You never know what's going to happen in this game. I think my wife is even more excited than me. I'm really happy. It's a new chapter in my career, having fun with these guys."

Graterol, 29, has Major League experience, hitting .222/.225/.283 with six doubles and 13 RBIs in 58 games with the Angels from 2016-18. He was released by the Angels on June 24, only to sign with Minnesota four days later. Graterol hit .284/.317/.336 with six doubles and 10 RBIs in 34 games with Rochester.

He's not expected to see much action over the final week of the season, but the Twins are down to two healthy catchers in Willians Astudillo and Chris Gimenez and have a doubleheader Friday.

"It's just a bit of protection on the bench in terms of numbers more than anything," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You hopefully don't have to get in that spot, but we're limited. Just having another body that could go out there if needed I thought was worthwhile. He's scheduled to go play in Venezuela this winter, so he's been doing some baseball things, and we got him here, so that's a good thing for us."

Graterol had actually planned to fly to his native Venezuela on Monday to get ready for the winter ball season, but will now push that back until after next week. For now, Graterol is happy to have an opportunity to be in the big leagues, even if it's only for the final nine games of the year.

"I'm just here to help the team and do my job," Graterol said. "I want to show these guys I can still play baseball. In the future, you never know what's going to happen. In this business, sometimes it's crazy, you know. You could be playing in Triple-A and then up in the big leagues the next day. After three years with the Angels, it's kind of different with all the new people and everything. But I'm just trying to get to know everybody."

Worth noting

Miguel Sano underwent an MRI exam on his left knee Friday, but it revealed no structural damage. He suffered the injury on a slide Sept. 4 and returned to the lineup Tuesday, only to head back to Minnesota on Wednesday to get his knee checked out. There's a chance he could return this season but the Twins are still trying to find out more about the injury.

"We didn't learn anything new," Molitor said. "We tried to eliminate things that might be sources or causes of the aggravation that he continues to feel. A little bit of a puzzle that we haven't been able to solve yet in terms of the discomfort he continues to experience. We're hoping with treatment and maybe a little bit more rest, we'll be in a better place come Tuesday."

• Second baseman Logan Forsythe's sore left knee is improving, but he wasn't able to return to the lineup Saturday. He's likely to remain out of action until the Twins return home to Target Field on Tuesday.

"Improved today," Molitor said. "Obviously not to the level that he's in the lineup. But it was a good step forward compared to how he felt yesterday."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Juan Graterol

Twins squander 6-run 6th inning in walk-off loss

Minnesota has now dropped MLB-worst 10 on game-ending homers
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

OAKLAND -- The Twins wasted a six-run sixth inning and suffered a familiar ending, as they lost in walk-off fashion for the Major League-leading 14th time this season.

Reliever Matt Magill gave up a game-winning homer to Khris Davis in the 10th inning in a 7-6 loss to the A's at the Oakland Coliseum on Friday night, marking the 10th time this year the Twins were defeated on a walk-off homer. It's a dubious mark for the Twins, who own the MLB record ahead of the Cardinals' eight losses on walk-off homers in 2010. The 14 walk-off losses are also one off the club record of 15, set in 1964, and two off the MLB record shared by several clubs.

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OAKLAND -- The Twins wasted a six-run sixth inning and suffered a familiar ending, as they lost in walk-off fashion for the Major League-leading 14th time this season.

Reliever Matt Magill gave up a game-winning homer to Khris Davis in the 10th inning in a 7-6 loss to the A's at the Oakland Coliseum on Friday night, marking the 10th time this year the Twins were defeated on a walk-off homer. It's a dubious mark for the Twins, who own the MLB record ahead of the Cardinals' eight losses on walk-off homers in 2010. The 14 walk-off losses are also one off the club record of 15, set in 1964, and two off the MLB record shared by several clubs.

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"It was tough today because we did have a nice rally, we strung together some hits," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Davis, a guy you kind of want to avoid beating you, hit a couple of homers. So it's just not quite executing as well as we needed to to win that game."

In his second-to-last start of the season, right-hander Jose Berrios tied his career high for innings as a professional with 185 1/3 on the year, but had some tough luck against the A's. The 24-year-old struck out eight and gave up only four hits over 5 2/3 innings, but surrendered five runs and walked three.

Video: MIN@OAK: Berrios K's Olson, the side in the 3rd

He was hurt early by a two-run shot from Davis, who leads the Majors with 45 on the year after his two-homer performance. Berrios then gave up runs on sacrifice flies in both the second and fourth innings.

"I feel like I was commanding all my pitches," Berrios said through an interpreter. "I felt strong out there. My only mistake was that pitch to Davis and he hit it out. The other things were a couple of hits here and there, nothing hard-hit besides that one. It's just how it goes."

After recording just two hits through their first five frames, the Twins broke out for a six-run sixth, keyed by five straight hits to open the inning, including a two-run homer from Robbie Grossman and an RBI double from Ehire Adrianza. Jorge Polanco delivered the big blow after Joe Mauer was intentionally walked to load the bases, ripping a three-run double to center to give the Twins the lead.

"Robbie hit the homer and we got some clutch hitting, including Polanco's double there with two outs," Molitor said. "They kind of came in a little bit with two strikes, two outs and gave him a little room [in the outfield]. He double-crossed them by hitting it over his head. But he put together a good at-bat."

But it was short-lived, as the A's tied it in the bottom of the inning after Berrios walked Stephen Piscotty to open the frame before getting a pair of strikeouts. Berrios, who threw 104 pitches, was removed for lefty Gabriel Moya, who served up a game-tying, two-run homer to pinch-hitter Mark Canha.

Video: MIN@OAK: Canha crushes pinch-hit, 2-run homer to left

"We had a little trouble matching up there," Molitor said. "They had some options and they countered and they took advantage. I wasn't sure it would be Canha or [Chad] Pinder, I knew it would be one of those two guys. I still preferred that, where we were at, in terms of [Matt] Joyce vs. Berrios at that time. Didn't work out."

The inherited run was charged to Berrios, who has a 3.93 ERA in 31 starts this year after posting a 3.89 ERA in 26 appearances (25 starts) last year. He threw a combined 185 1/3 innings between Triple-A and the Majors last year to match this season's output with one start remaining.

"I feel healthy," Berrios said. "I'm glad to be here with my teammates enjoying every game. Whatever is left of the season. Not the way we want to finish but it's just the way how it goes this season."

SOUND SMART
Davis joins Adam Jones, Carlos Gomez, Trayce Thompson, Gary Sanchez, Mike Zunino, Alcides Escobar, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor and Salvador Perez as the 10 players who have a hit a walk-off homer against the Twins this year.

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis crushes walk-off HR in the 10th

HE SAID IT
"We understand that a lot of things have transpired during this season, injuries and things like that out of our control. But I feel like with the group of people we have here, everybody works hard together to accomplish a goal and it didn't go our way this season." -- Berrios, on the Twins, who are 43-31 at home but 28-51 on the road

UP NEXT
Right-hander Chase De Jong (0-1, 3.68 ERA) will start for the Twins in the second game of the series on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. CT. De Jong will be making his third start with Minnesota, and gave up five runs (three earned) over 3 1/3 innings against the Royals last time out. Right-hander Mike Fiers (12-7, 3.38 ERA) starts for Oakland.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins

Sano getting knee reevaluated in Twin Cities

Third baseman had missed 12 games due to injury
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

OAKLAND -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, who returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing 12 games with a left knee injury, flew back to the Twin Cities for further testing on his knee, manager Paul Molitor said Friday.

Sano suffered the injury on a slide in Houston on Sept. 4, getting carted off the field after jamming his knee into the second-base bag. There were initial fears it could be a significant injury, as he had a titanium rod inserted in his left shin in the offseason. But he felt good enough to return to the lineup on Tuesday, only to feel discomfort in the back of his knee while playing.

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OAKLAND -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, who returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing 12 games with a left knee injury, flew back to the Twin Cities for further testing on his knee, manager Paul Molitor said Friday.

Sano suffered the injury on a slide in Houston on Sept. 4, getting carted off the field after jamming his knee into the second-base bag. There were initial fears it could be a significant injury, as he had a titanium rod inserted in his left shin in the offseason. But he felt good enough to return to the lineup on Tuesday, only to feel discomfort in the back of his knee while playing.

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"It seems to me it was more like he was getting a nerve-jolt sensation at times," Molitor said. "So we sent him back for more testing to try to find the source of that. It wasn't reaggravated by playing the other day. It's just kind of persisting. He tried to play through it but after the game we decided to find the answer to that."

Molitor said he hasn't received any test results yet and there's no timetable for Sano's return. Sano, 25, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Tuesday, and is hitting .199/.281/.398 with 13 homers, 14 doubles and 41 RBIs in 71 games this season.

Sano was an All-Star in 2017, but has struggled this year after his shin surgery in the offseason. He was sent to the Minor Leagues for a six-week stint from mid-June until late July to work on his conditioning, but has hit .195/.294/.390 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 34 games since returning.

Worth noting

• Left fielder Eddie Rosario underwent an MRI exam on his strained right quad, which revealed inflammation. He's expected to miss the rest of the season but Molitor said they'll find out more on Tuesday, when the Twins return home to Target Field.

"No surprises," Molitor said. "Just kind of confirmed the inflammation in that right quad. It's still listed as mild to moderate in that right quad. So no real new information on that."

• Catcher Mitch Garver is also not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on Sept. 12, but there's a remote chance he could return as a designated hitter next week.

"Garver's doing better," Molitor said. "Still think the catching is not going to happen, but we'll have to decide on the worthwhile efforts of trying to get him at-bats or not when we get home as well." 

• Second baseman Logan Forsythe woke up with inflammation in his right knee on Friday and was held out of the lineup. It's not considered serious, but the Twins wanted to be cautious on Friday.

"He doesn't really know how or why," Molitor said. "The hills of San Francisco are our best guess."

• Reliever Addison Reed will be away from the team for a few days, as his wife, Cady, is due any day with the couple's second child.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano

30 best games of '18 -- 1 player from each team

MLB.com @RichardJustice

We went in search of magic. That is, players rising up and doing something they may remember forever. Every team, all 30 of them, has moments like this.

From bunches of home runs to bunches of strikeouts, from household names to players you may not have heard of before, these are players that become part of the fabric of a season.

We went in search of magic. That is, players rising up and doing something they may remember forever. Every team, all 30 of them, has moments like this.

From bunches of home runs to bunches of strikeouts, from household names to players you may not have heard of before, these are players that become part of the fabric of a season.

Here we go: 30 special individual performances for 30 teams:

American League East

Blue Jays: Yangervis Solarte
Date: May 3 vs. CLE
The infielder collected five hits, including a decisive 11th-inning grand slam, in a 13-11 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field. He became the second player in the live-ball era with at least five hits, including an extra-inning grand slam. The other was Jim Rice in 1984.

Orioles: Manny Machado
Date: 
May 11 vs. TB
Machado hit two home runs, including a seventh-inning grand slam, and drove in six as the Orioles beat the Rays, 9-4, at Camden Yards. At 25, he became the youngest Orioles player to hit 150 home runs. "Words can't even describe how exciting that it is, reaching that milestone," he said.

Rays: Ji-Man Choi
Date: 
Sept. 10 vs. CLE
Choi's two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning produced a 6-5 victory over the Indians. In one swing, he kept Tampa Bay's postseason hopes alive and extended its home winning streak to 12 games.

Video: NYY@BOS: Betts his slam, collects four hits vs. Yanks

Red Sox: Mookie Betts
Date: 
April 10 vs. NYY
Betts scored five runs and collected four hits, including two doubles and a grand slam, in a 14-1 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Yankees: Luis Severino
Date:
May 2 at HOU
Severino struck out 10 Astros in the first complete game of his career, a 4-0 victory at Minute Maid Park. "I wouldn't want to be in the box facing him," teammate Giancarlo Stanton said. "He's going to pound the zone at 100 mph, and if you look on time for that, you're going to get that 90-mph slider. It's exactly what we needed tonight and another par-for-the-course outing for him."

AL CENTRAL

Video: Must C Clutch: Lindor homers twice to hold off Twins

Indians: Francisco Lindor
Date:
May 31 at MIN
Lindor had two doubles, two homers and four RBIs in a 9-8 win over the Twins at Target Field. He joined Adrian Beltre, Jim Edmonds and Rafael Palmeiro as the only players since 1908 to have two such games in the same season.

Royals: Jorge Lopez
Date:
Sept. 8 at MIN
Lopez took a perfect game into the ninth inning in the seventh start of his career. The 25-year-old right-hander walked the leadoff hitter in the ninth, then allowed a hit before departing in what would be a 4-1 win over the Twins at Target Field.

Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos
Date:
Aug. 13 vs. CWS
Castellanos went 5-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs in a 9-5 victory over the White Sox. Among the hits was a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning off Jeanmar Gomez.

Twins: Eddie Rosario
Date:
June 3 vs. CLE
With his father sitting a few feet from home plate, Eddie Rosario homered three times, including a two-run walk-off shot that gave the Twins a 7-5 victory over the Indians at Target Field. "It was Rosie's day," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I've seen a lot of good days in the big leagues. But I don't know if I've seen one that was more dramatic than that as far as the first inning all the way through the end."

White Sox: Matt Davidson
Date: 
March 29 at KC
Davidson became the fourth player to hit three home runs on Opening Day as the White Sox rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Royals, 14-7, at Kauffman Stadium. "What an incredible day he had," teammate James Shields said. "Really happy for him. He works his butt off every day, and to have a day like that is pretty special."

AL WEST

Video: LAA@NYY: Trout goes 5-for-5 with career-high 4 XBHs

Angels: Mike Trout
Date:
May 26 at NYY
Trout had a home run, three doubles and an infield single in an 11-4 victory at Yankee Stadium. "He's an unbelievable player and I think he showed that tonight," Yankees starter Sonny Gray said. "He put some good swings on the ball and in the fourth, he hit that homer. That was ultimately the icing on the cake for me."

Astros: Gerrit Cole
Date:
 May 4 at ARI
Cole struck out 16 D-backs in a one-hit complete game, an 8-0 victory at Chase Field. He finished it with a 99-mph fastball to strike out Jarrod Dyson. "Wow," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "It's hard to describe. It's an incredible display of pitching."

Athletics: Sean Manaea
Date:
April 21 vs. BOS
Manaea threw the seventh no-hitter in Oakland A's history in a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox at the Coliseum. "I've caught a lot of great pitchers in this game," A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy said, "and that was the most well-pitched, well-executed game I've ever had behind the plate."

Video: Paxton tosses sixth no-hitter in Mariners history

Mariners: James Paxton
Date:
May 8 at TOR
Paxton returned to his native Canada to no-hit the Blue Jays, 5-0, at Rogers Centre. It was the first complete game of his career. "To have it happen in Canada. What are the odds?" Paxton said. "Just very special."

Rangers: Rougned Odor
Date:
July 28 at HOU
Odor hit two home runs and had a double and two singles in a 7-3 victory at Minute Maid Park. "We talked about finding his swagger, getting his swagger back, getting that confidence back," then-Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Know that you're a really good player and just go show it and stay focused on every single pitch."

NL EAST

Video: Must C Classic: Acuna's 2 homers make history

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr.
Date:
Aug. 14 vs. MIA
Acuna homered twice and added a single in a 10-6 victory over the Marlins at SunTrust Park. The 20-year-old hit the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning to become the youngest player ever to homer in five consecutive games. "He's the best player I've ever seen," Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte said. "He's just unbelievable."

Marlins: Jose Urena
Date:
Aug. 19 at WSH
Urena retired the final 16 Nationals in a complete-game 12-1 victory at Nationals Park. "You can just see the fire in his eyes every time he's out there," Marlins shortstop JT Riddle said.

Video: NYM@CHC: deGrom K's 10, notches 2 hits vs. Cubs

Mets: Jacob deGrom
Date:
Aug. 28 at CHC
deGrom struck out 10 Cubs and allowed one run in an eight-inning masterpiece of a loss at Wrigley Field. "The guy is as advertised," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "That's different. That's another level of stuff."

Nationals: Max Scherzer
Date:
May 6 vs. PHI
Scherzer struck out 15 Phillies in 6 1/3 innings in a 5-4 victory at Nationals Park. He was the first pitcher in history to get 15 strikeouts in 6 1/3 (or fewer) innings. "He doesn't slow," Nationals manager Davey Martinez said. "I watch him in the gym. I watch him watch video. His mind is constantly going and constantly learning."

Phillies: Odubel Herrera
Date:
June 22 at WSH
Herrera scored four runs and had four hits, including a homer, in a 12-2 victory at Nationals Park. "It's simply incredible what he can do," teammate Zach Eflin said. "The thing with Odubel is that he can shake off anything at any given time. He can look like he's struggling and next pitch he sends it 440 feet."

NL CENTRAL

Video: MIL@CIN: Yelich records cycle with 6 hits, shows arm

Brewers: Christian Yelich
Date:
Aug. 29 at CIN
Yelich hit for the cycle -- the first of two Yelich cycles this season -- and had six hits in all in a 13-12, 10-inning victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. "I've never seen a game like that," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's coming up there and you're thinking he can't do it again, and he does it again."

Cardinals: Matt Carpenter
Date:
July 20 at CHC
Carpenter became the second player in MLB history to hit three homers and two doubles in a game. He did it all in in six innings in an 18-5 victory at Wrigley Field. "I'm having a hard time coming up with words to describe a day like this," Carpenter said.

Cubs: David Bote
Date:
Aug. 12 vs. WSH
Bote delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning at Wrigley Field to turn a 3-0 loss into a 4-3, walk-off victory over the Nationals. He became the first Cubs player to hit a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam since Earl Averill in 1959.

Pirates: Jameson Taillon
Date:
April 8 vs. CIN
Taillon tossed a one-hitter and drove in Pittsburgh's first run in a 5-0 victory over over the Reds at PNC Park. It was Pittsburgh's first complete-game one-hitter since A.J. Burnett shut out the Cubs in 2012. "This guy, he's special," Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli said.

Reds: Scooter Gennett
Date:
May 26 at COL
Gennett collected five hits -- a first-inning home run and four singles -- and was part of a game-ending defensive play to close out a 6-5 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.

NL WEST

D-Backs: A.J. Pollock
Date:
April 30 vs. LAD
Pollock hit three home runs in an 8-5 win at Chase Field. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now," he said. "I don't know. Some days it just works."

Video: Must C Classic: Puig crushes 3 homers vs. Cardinals

Dodgers: Yasiel Puig
Date:
Sept. 15 at STL
Puig launched three home runs and drove in seven runs in a 17-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Puig explained his power surge as only he can: He said the grasshoppers that have swarmed Busch Stadium have gotten him going. He said he considered eating one or two. Manager Dave Roberts had a better explanation. "He's focused and he understands the importance of every pitch," he said. "And when he does that, he's as good as anybody in baseball."

Giants: Andrew McCutchen
Date:
April 7 vs. LAD
McCutchen went 6-for-7 with four RBIs, including a walk-off home run, in a 14-inning, 7-5 victory over the Dodgers at AT&T Park. Giants manager Bruce Bochy called the victory "epic" and added, "It's one of those Giants-Dodgers games that will be talked about."

Padres: Christian Villanueva
Date:
April 3 vs. COL
Villanueva belted three home runs in his 14th career game in an 8-4 victory over the Rockies at Petco Park. "I have a lot of dreams, I have a lot of goals, and I think, little by little, I'm starting to reach them," Villanueva said.

Rockies: DJ LeMahieu
Date:
June 28 at SF
LeMahieu's go-ahead home run at AT&T Park probably did more than give the Rockies a 9-8 victory. It came at a time when they were in fourth place in the NL West and had fallen eight games off the pace. There was speculation they might sell at the Trade Deadline. The Rockies won 44 of their next 69 games. Only the Cubs did better in that time.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Youth is served: Twins' best rookie this season

MLB.com

Each year, a new group of rookies sets out to make a mark in the Major Leagues, and in 2018, many of these young players have made history with their performances. They're fueling clubs during postseason races, as well as giving fans a glimpse of what's to come in the years ahead.

With the aid of all 30 MLB.com beat writers, here's a look at each team's best rookie this season:

Each year, a new group of rookies sets out to make a mark in the Major Leagues, and in 2018, many of these young players have made history with their performances. They're fueling clubs during postseason races, as well as giving fans a glimpse of what's to come in the years ahead.

With the aid of all 30 MLB.com beat writers, here's a look at each team's best rookie this season:

Video: Callis looks at rookies' long-term futures

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Ryan Borucki
Borucki has opened his Major League career with quality starts in 10 of his first 15 outings. Even though Borucki did not make his debut until the end of June, he has the third-most starts of at least six innings and two runs or fewer among Major League rookies. Only San Francisco's Dereck Rodriguez has registered more of those starts this season. Borucki appears to be a future cornerstone of the Blue Jays' rotation and his rookie campaign has been an overwhelming success with a 3.86 ERA.

Orioles: Cedric Mullins
It's been a tough year for Baltimore, but Mullins has given O's fans a glimmer of hope in the past two months. Since becoming the first Oriole to record three hits in his debut, the center fielder -- who moved Adam Jones over to right -- has showcased his range and speed and has become a table-setter for a lineup that sorely needs more dynamic players.

Rays: Joey Wendle
Tampa Bay acquired Wendle from Oakland during the Winter Meetings -- the same day the Yankees finalized their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. Many found humor in how the Rays "answered" their division foe's acquisition. Wendle has hardly been a joke, though. He's played second base, third base, shortstop, right field and left field. While Wendle's glove has been dazzling as billed, particularly at second, his bat has been equally so. He always seems to be in the middle of rallies. Wendle has above-average speed and runs out every ball, and he's shown decent power. He has been a big reason for Tampa Bay's marked improvement this season.

Red Sox: Brian Johnson
Out of options, Johnson had no option but to become a dependable contributor for the Red Sox this season, and that's exactly what he has done. Though he has unspectacular numbers (4-4, 4.24 ERA), Johnson has been one of the most important members of the pitching staff for manager Alex Cora because of his ability to move seamlessly between the bullpen and starting rotation, and often doing both roles within days of each other. In 12 starts, Johnson is 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA. He could have a few more wins, but he was taken out just shy of five innings numerous times.

Yankees: Miguel Andujar
Nothing was handed to Andujar, who made the most of an early-season opportunity when Brandon Drury landed on the disabled list to grab hold of the third-base job. Andujar's calling card is his bat, and he quickly cemented a reputation as an extra-base hit machine, tallying the third-most extra-base hits by a rookie in Yankees history behind Joe DiMaggio (88) and Aaron Judge (79). The AL Rookie of the Month in June and August, Andujar has worked to polish his defense. With Gleyber Torres also enjoying a strong season, the Yanks have two legitimate choices to follow Judge as the AL Rookie of the Year Award winner.

Video: BOS@NYY: Andujar opens scoring with a solo HR in 2nd

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Shane Bieber
Indians manager Terry Francona jokes that Chris Antonetti, the team's president of baseball operations, did not bring Bieber to MLB camp in the spring because the manager would not have let the pitcher return to the Minors. Bieber, 23, cruised through Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 1.47 ERA with 77 strikeouts vs. seven walks in 79 2/3 innings. When the back of Cleveland's rotation ran into some issues, Bieber rose to the big leagues. He debuted in late May and returned for good in June. The rookie has enjoyed a promising campaign and figures to be a part of the Tribe's postseason pitching staff.

Royals: Brad Keller
Keller, a right-hander, was an absolute steal in the Rule 5 Draft. He started the season in the bullpen and eventually graduated to the rotation, where he has been arguably the Royals' best starter and certainly a top-of-the-rotation guy moving forward. Opposing hitters throughout the season have called facing Keller an "uncomfortable at-bat." His four-seam fastball, which hovers around 93-95 mph, moves like a cutter, and he has worked to develop an effective slider and changeup. During a recent six-game stretch, Keller went 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA, permitting just a .645 OPS. While Keller, 23, likely won't win the AL Rookie of the Year Award -- especially with Shohei Ohtani, Torres and Andujar in the running -- he at least deserves some consideration. Keller is a lock for the rotation in 2019.

Tigers: Niko Goodrum
The Tigers took a chance on the former Twins second-round pick, extending a Spring Training invite in the hopes that his versatility and athleticism would help him stick while learning on the job in the big leagues. Much to their surprise, Goodrum has become essentially an everyday player and a cog in Detroit's lineup, with a .741 OPS that ranks second on the team to Nicholas Castellanos. He has made a start at every defensive position except center field, catcher and pitcher.

Twins: Jake Cave
The Twins took a chance on Cave in March, acquiring him from the Yankees for Minor League right-hander Luis Gil, and Cave has responded with a strong rookie season. The 25-year-old wasn't expected to play much this season, but with center fielder Byron Buxton out most of the year because of injuries and offensive inconsistency, the left-handed-hitting Cave has filled in nicely. He's capable of playing all three outfield positions and has shown some power offensively, hitting .257/.300/.458 with 11 homers and 13 doubles through his first 82 career games.

White Sox: Daniel Palka
The White Sox picked up the left-handed slugger off waivers from the Twins on Nov. 3, 2017. While he didn't break camp with the team, Palka not only leads the White Sox in home runs, but also set a single-season franchise record for most homers from a left-handed-hitting rookie. Palka has a knack for the big hit, having knocked out six home runs in the ninth inning. Left-handed reliever Jace Fry made a solid late-inning rookie impression, but Palka provided the biggest power boost.

Video: CWS@CLE: Palka breaks scoreless tie with HR to center

AL WEST

Angels: Shohei Ohtani
A rocky Spring Training created some questions about how Ohtani's talent would translate to the Majors, but he quickly erased those doubts once the regular season began. For two months, he dazzled as a two-way phenom for the Angels, emerging as a dominant right-handed pitcher with a triple-digit fastball and devastating splitter and an impact left-handed bat with impressive raw power. An elbow injury derailed his magical season and led to a Tommy John surgery recommendation earlier this month, but it hasn't prevented Ohtani from continuing to hit. He is the first player to log 10 pitching appearances and hit 20 home runs in a season since Babe Ruth in 1919, making him a front-runner for the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

Video: SEA@LAA: Ohtani goes back-to-back with Trout for 20th

Astros: Max Stassi
Stassi made his Major League debut during the Astros' 111-loss season of 2013, and he has bounced between the big leagues and Triple-A each season since while maintaining his rookie status. He's spent most of this year as Houston's backup catcher to Brian McCann, and he is hitting .233 with eight homers and 27 RBIs through 85 games. Stassi was on pace to catch more games than McCann, who missed a chunk of time with knee surgery, and Martin Maldonado, who was acquired in a July trade and cost Stassi significant playing time down the stretch.

Athletics: Lou Trivino
Trivino has been an absolute godsend for what's become a deep and dangerous Oakland bullpen, arriving in late April and quickly taking over setup duties behind All-Star closer Blake Treinen with a high-90s fastball and a mid-90s cutter -- a devastating duo. The flamethrowing right-hander singlehandedly bridged the gap for much of the first half before the midseason arrivals of Jeurys Familia, Shawn Kelley and Fernando Rodney, working multiple innings more times than not. Center fielder Ramon Laureano, who has been superb on both sides of the ball since his August promotion, also deserves consideration.

Mariners: Daniel Vogelbach
The 25-year-old first baseman made the Opening Day roster after a huge spring, then was sent down when he struggled at the plate in April. But after putting up good numbers again in Triple-A, Vogelbach has flashed his power potential with a couple of big home runs this week as a September callup, including a game-winning pinch-hit grand slam to beat the Astros on Monday.

Rangers: Ronald Guzman
This is a tossup between Guzman and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who did a terrific job in a utility role that included time at catcher. But Guzman has emerged as the Rangers' first baseman of the future by showing power, run production and superb defensive ability. There is still more improvement and development needed, but Guzman is among the AL rookie leaders in home runs and RBIs. His emergence also allowed Joey Gallo to take over in left field, which had been a troubled spot for Texas.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Video: STL@ATL: Acuna Jr. belts a solo smash for his 26th HR

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr.
Acuna has lived up to his top prospect status, as he spent the season's second half producing numbers baseball has seldom seen from a player who has not yet turned 21 years old. He introduced himself to the Majors in April and then suffered a late-May knee injury that sidelined him for a month. But when Acuna was moved to the top of Atlanta's lineup immediately after the All-Star break, the 20-year-old outfielder suddenly became one of the game's top catalysts and power threats. He became a strong NL Rookie of the Year Award candidate and likely earned some down-ballot NL MVP Award consideration.

Marlins: Brian Anderson
Not only has Anderson been the Marlins' top rookie in 2018, he has established himself as one of the young faces of the franchise. He's also built a case to be a top-five finisher in the NL Rookie of the Year Award balloting. On the big league roster from wire to wire, Anderson has played third base and right field. He will lead all NL rookies in games played and hits.

Mets: Jeff McNeil
McNeil was never a top prospect, and when he arrived in the big leagues, he first drew attention for his unusual knobless bat. But since he took over at second base following the Asdrubal Cabrera trade, he's been a revelation at the plate, commanding attention for his outstanding contact ability and all-around hitting prowess. McNeil hasn't slowed down, either -- he leads all rookies in hitting since his July 24 debut, including 17 multihit games in 54 contests, and is second among all players in triples in that span, with five.

Nationals: Juan Soto
Soto wasn't even the Nats' most heralded prospect coming into the year -- that was Victor Robles. But he's hit at an almost unprecedented level for his age, putting himself on lists alongside names like Griffey and Harper. Soto's combination of plate discipline and power marks him as a future star. He's not only a top NL Rookie of the Year Award candidate; he might even get some down-ballot consideration in the crowded NL MVP Award field.

Video: Must C Classic: Soto youngest to swipe 3 bags in game

Phillies: Seranthony Dominguez
One of the reasons the Phillies held first place in the NL East as late as Aug. 12 is Dominguez, who joined Philadelphia's bullpen in May. He posted a 1.85 ERA in 34 appearances through Aug. 3, striking out 49 and walking 13 in 39 innings, becoming manager Gabe Kapler's most trusted weapon with the game on the line. Dominguez struggled down the stretch as the former starter adjusted to a new role, but there is no question NL East batters are not looking forward to facing him in the future.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Freddy Peralta
Taylor Williams pitched in more games and Corbin Burnes is playing the most significant role among Brewers rookies down the stretch, but in terms of aggregate value this season, Peralta gets the nod. By making 14 starts, including a history-making 13-strikeout Major League debut on Mother's Day, Peralta helped hold together a starting rotation that was a quiet strength for much of the year despite Jimmy Nelson's year-long absence and significant disabled list time for Zach Davies, Wade Miley and others. Among Major League starters who pitched at least 70 innings, only Chris Sale had a lower opponents' average than Peralta.

Cardinals: Jack Flaherty
With respect to Harrison Bader (3.5 fWAR), Jordan Hicks (105 mph fastball) and Yairo Munoz (.275 average), it's Flaherty who has emerged as the star of St. Louis' loaded rookie crop -- and the Cardinals' new ace. Premature? Not if you consider how the on-the-playoff-bubble Cards manipulated their rotation so Flaherty will be on turn to start their most important game of the year, whether that's the NL Wild Card Game or a must-win during the season's final series. The 22-year-old has earned the responsibility: He ranks among the NL rookie starter leaders in strikeouts (first), starts (second), innings (second), ERA (fourth), wins (first), fWAR (second) and WHIP (third).

Cubs: David Bote
An 18th-round Draft pick in 2012, Bote was pressed into duty when Kris Bryant was injured and has delivered in the clutch. On July 26 against the D-backs, he smacked a game-tying two-run homer with one out in the ninth. On Aug. 12 against the Nationals, Bote delivered a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam in the ninth. That blast helped teach people how to pronounce his last name (it's bow-tee). He hit another walk-off homer on Aug. 24 against the Reds and is the first Cub since Bryant in 2015 with two walk-off homers in one season. Bote has helped support the Cubs' motto to be versatile, starting at second, third, shortstop and in the outfield.

Video: David Bote's heroics vs. the Nationals this season

Pirates: Richard Rodriguez
Far from a household name, the 28-year-old rookie has become a vital part of Pittsburgh's bullpen in his first extended Major League opportunity. Signed as a Minor League free agent, Rodriguez entered the week with a 2.57 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 63 innings over 56 appearances. Rodriguez doesn't possess overwhelming stuff, but he's getting the job done with a 92.9-mph four-seam fastball he throws about 75 percent of the time plus a swing-and-miss slider.

Reds: Jesse Winker
Winker gets the nod despite having his season cut in half by injury. After a slow start, he found his stroke and some power. Overall, Winker batted .299/.405/.431 in 89 games but was slashing .362/.465/.554 in June and July before his year was halted by right shoulder surgery in his non-throwing arm to repair an injury that nagged him even in the Minors. Expected to be fully recovered by Spring Training, the 25-year-old with great plate discipline could be an even bigger offensive threat when fully healthy.

NL WEST

D-backs: Yoshihisa Hirano
While Hirano is technically a rookie as far as Major League Baseball is concerned, he certainly was not inexperienced coming into this season after spending 11 seasons pitching in Japan. The D-backs signed him to a two-year contract during the offseason, and he has more than met their expectations. Used primarily in a setup role through the first five months of the season, Hirano's effectiveness -- along with his unflappable makeup -- eventually got him moved into the de facto closer's role in September.

Dodgers: Walker Buehler
In any year not involving Acuna or Soto, the Dodgers' 24-year-old sensation would likely have been a favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year Award. Since his April recall from the Minor Leagues, Buehler was a steady presence through Clayton Kershaw's extended absence and has since cemented himself beside Los Angeles' ace at the top of the rotation, allowing two or fewer runs in 17 of his 21 starts. With the Dodgers embroiled in a tight divisional race, he has a 1.62 ERA since the start of August, and with his season mark at 2.74, he could become Los Angeles' first rookie starter to post an ERA under 3.00 with at least 20 starts since Hideo Nomo in 1995.

Video: COL@LAD: Buehler K's career-high 12 over 6 frames

Giants: Dereck Rodriguez
The son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez is steadily establishing his own identity as a ballplayer as well as his candidacy for a respectable finish in the NL Rookie of the Year Award balloting. The 26-year-old, who converted to pitching from playing the outfield, demonstrated his consistency by pitching at least six innings and allowing two or fewer runs in nine consecutive starts. Despite their losing record overall, the Giants are 9-8 when Rodriguez starts. What makes Rodriguez's story even more remarkable is that he did not pitch above Double-A in Minnesota's farm system last year. San Francisco signed him as a Minor League free agent last November.

Padres: Franmil Reyes
Reyes was left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft last December after leading all Padres Minor Leaguers in home runs in 2017. Thankfully for San Diego, he went unselected. Reyes' power is otherworldly, and he's made huge strides with his approach at the plate. The hulking 6-foot-5, 275-pounder is still a liability defensively. But he's grown into a legit middle-of-the-order game-changer.

Rockies: Ryan McMahon
Drafted as a third baseman but blocked at the hot corner by one Nolan Arenado, the 23-year-old McMahon made the Opening Day roster with eyes on the starting first-base job, but he was beat out by veteran Ian Desmond. After struggles at the plate and two extended Minor League stints, McMahon's .330 on-base percentage since his July 29 recall is fourth among Rockies. He has also shown a penchant for clutch homers -- four of his five 2018 long balls have come late in close games with Colorado trailing, including a memorable three-run walk-off shot against the Dodgers on Aug. 11.

Twins arms combine to quiet Tigers, earn sweep

Gonsalves dazzles with 6 scoreless frames, gets 1st MLB win
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Stephen Gonsalves has struggled to find his footing in the Major Leagues since being called up to the Twins on Aug. 20. The 24-year-old rookie had a 9.90 ERA in August, and his first September start lasted just 2 1/3 innings after giving up five runs. But after notching his first Major League win Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park, Gonsalves appears to be on the right track.

Gonsalves threw six shutout innings of one-hit ball as the Twins rolled over the Tigers, 8-2, for the three-game series sweep and their fourth win in a row.

View Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- Stephen Gonsalves has struggled to find his footing in the Major Leagues since being called up to the Twins on Aug. 20. The 24-year-old rookie had a 9.90 ERA in August, and his first September start lasted just 2 1/3 innings after giving up five runs. But after notching his first Major League win Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park, Gonsalves appears to be on the right track.

Gonsalves threw six shutout innings of one-hit ball as the Twins rolled over the Tigers, 8-2, for the three-game series sweep and their fourth win in a row.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's learning to trust your stuff," Gonsalves said. "That's what we did today. The last 3-4 outings we were talking mechanics and we just said, 'You know what, don't even worry about that. Just throw the ball as hard as you can over the plate.' And that's what we did today."

Six innings pitched is a full inning longer than his previous high. Gonsalves didn't allow a hit until JaCoby Jones singled with one out in the sixth inning. The only Tigers hit before then was a single by Nicholas Castellanos in the first inning. Combined with his last outing against the Royals, Gonsalves has gone his last nine innings allowing just one hit and an unearned run. Before these last two outings, Gonsalves hadn't allowed fewer than three runs in a game.

"I just thought he was getting his fastball in a better spot and his changeup in a better spot," manager Paul Molitor said. "When he's been getting hurt, it's either been hitters counts or mistakes up in the zone, and we didn't see too many of those today."

Video: MIN@DET: Molitor on offense, pitching in win

Of the 19 batters Gonsalves faced, only two went to three-ball counts.

For the second straight outing, Gonsalves entered after an "opener," a strategy the Twins have been experimenting with in September. Gabriel Moya threw a scoreless first inning Wednesday, which allowed Gonsalves to have to face the top of the Tigers' order only twice.

Gonsalves got an early boost from his offense. The Twins were hitting early against Tigers rookie Spencer Turnbull, who was making his first Major League start. After being retired in order in the first inning, the Twins got their first four hitters on base in the second. Two RBI singles followed by two RBI groundouts gave the Twins an early 4-0 lead. One of those RBI hits came from Tyler Austin, who batted in three runs in Tuesday night's win. Austin finished the series 4-for-7 with five RBIs.

Video: MIN@DET: Austin rips an RBI single in the 2nd

"For anybody who comes up here and tries to get their feet on the ground and it doesn't go particularly well at the beginning, there's always that doubt factor," Molitor said of Gonsalves. "... I think from that aspect, having a little bit of a lead was probably a good thing for him."

The Twins tagged Turnbull with two more runs in the fourth inning. Ehire Adrianza's one out-double led to a throwing error by right fielder Mikie Mahtook that allowed Austin to score, and Willians Astudillo scored Adrianza with a double to make it 6-0.

Video: MIN@DET: Astudillo lines an RBI double in the 4th

Now, Gonsalves just has to figure out who he's going to give the game ball to.

"We'll have to figure out where it goes," Gonsalves said. "I gave my dad the first strikeout and then my grandma the first out. We'll see where this first one goes."

SOUND SMART
Astudillo is best known as the 5-foot-9, 225-pound baseball player who said he just wants to show that "chubby people also run." But the 26-year-old rookie stuffed the stat sheet Wednesday with two hits and three RBIs. It's the first time in his career that Astudillo has recorded three RBIs in a game.

Video: MIN@DET: Astudillo lines an RBI single in the 8th

HE SAID IT
"His left shoulder has been bothering him some on the right-handed swing. If you guys recollect that his last couple at-bats that he did bat right-handed, he bunted, and we were just trying to stay away from that. He's been trying to get it better to where he's comfortable enough swinging. We'll see where it is in Oakland. He hung in there, got a lefty-on-lefty double, and maybe found something." -- Molitor, on Adrianza batting left-handed against lefty pitchers

UP NEXT
After an off-day Thursday, the Twins continue their road trip with a three-game series against the A's, starting with a 9:05 p.m. CT first pitch Friday. Jose Berrios (11-11, 3.81 ERA) will be on the mound for Minnesota, with Oakland yet to announce a starter. Berrios has gone a combined 12 innings and given up three runs in his last two starts.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Minnesota Twins, Stephen Gonsalves

Rosario, Garver may not play again in '18

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver have been sent back to Minneapolis to deal with their respective injuries, manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday before the Twins' series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park, which resulted in an 8-2 win and series sweep for Minnesota.

Rosario will have an MRI on his right quad Thursday. He aggravated it while fielding a single in left field during the Twins' 6-1 win over the Tigers on Monday. It was just his second game playing the field since coming back from the same injury on Sept. 7.

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DETROIT -- Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver have been sent back to Minneapolis to deal with their respective injuries, manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday before the Twins' series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park, which resulted in an 8-2 win and series sweep for Minnesota.

Rosario will have an MRI on his right quad Thursday. He aggravated it while fielding a single in left field during the Twins' 6-1 win over the Tigers on Monday. It was just his second game playing the field since coming back from the same injury on Sept. 7.

View Full Game Coverage

Garver hasn't played since taking a foul ball off his catcher's mask last Wednesday. Molitor said the decision to send him home had more to do with travel.

"[I]t's very unlikely that anything was going to happen over the next three or four days," Molitor said. "[This will] save him the travel on airplanes, which sometimes can contribute to symptoms surrounding concussions, so we're going to get him back there."

Though neither player experienced a specific setback to prompt the move, it does indicate that their chances of playing again this season are getting slimmer. Molitor wouldn't go as far to rule them out, but there will only be six games left when they're reunited again next Tuesday in Minnesota.

"You've got to be realistic about the chances," Molitor said. "I don't think it's very great for either of them to play."

Molitor suggested that if Garver returns this season, he wouldn't go behind the plate.

"I don't think he would like to put himself in that position here with a handful of games to go, to risk something coming off it so recently, which makes sense to me," Molitor said.

Noteworthy

• Molitor had high praise for the Dodgers' Brian Dozier, whom the Twins traded away on July 31. Dozier said that he played through injuries for the Twins earlier this season.

"He's done that for a long time," Molitor said. "… He was a guy that knew how to get the most out of himself when he wasn't 100 percent."

• Molitor suggested that he will shuffle around some of the bullpen roles down the stretch of the season, including giving other pitchers chances at save opportunities.

"There's different things we might do, especially if it's someone that I would have hopes for that could eventually get roles, whether it's setup or closer or whatever," he said.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Minnesota Twins, Mitch Garver, Eddie Rosario

Twins instructional league roster, schedule

MLB.com

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

Instructional league rosters

Here's a look at the Twins' roster, with the players' rank in the team's Top 30 Prospects' list in parentheses:

PITCHERS: None

CATCHERS: David Banuelos; Trevor Casanova; Andrew Cosgrove; Michael Davis; Yeremi De La Cruz; Taylor Grzelakowski; Caleb Hamilton; Ryan Jeffers; Mitchell Kranson; Brian Navarreto; Yeison Perez; Ben Rodriguez; Ben Rortvedt (No. 24); Kidany Salva; Laron Smith; Janigson Villalobos; Chris Williams

INFIELDERS: Luis Arraez (No. 15); Andrew Bechtold (No. 27); Travis Blankenhorn (No. 18); Ryan Costello; Ricky De La Torre; Yeltsin Encarnacion; Michael Helman; Royce Lewis (No. 1); Charlie Mack; Jose Miranda (No. 29); Brent Rooker (No. 7); Yunior Severino (No. 21); Gabe Snyder; Victor Tademo; Zander Wiel

OUTFIELDERS: Jared Akins; Jean Carlos Arias; Akil Baddoo (No. 12); Trey Cabbage; Shane Carrier; Gilberto Celestino (No. 14); Ernie De La Trinidad; Tanner English; Joe Garry; Dashawn Keirsey; Alex Kirilloff (No. 2); Trevor Larnach (No. 6); Gabriel Maciel (No. 17); Alberoni Nunez; Jacob Pearson (No. 25); Erick Rivera; Albee Weiss; Aaron Whitefield

SCHEDULE:
Sun., Sept. 23 - Report date
Mon., Sept. 24 - First workout
Sat., Oct. 6 - Last workout

Minnesota Twins