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Lynn struggles as Twins fall, extend skid

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- With Miguel Sano crushing the hardest-hit homer of his career with a two-run blast in the first, it appeared the Twins would finally get some momentum to snap their losing streak and find a way to win at Yankee Stadium.

But it wasn't to be yet again, as right-hander Lance Lynn continued his struggles and the club scuffled with runners in scoring position in a 7-4 loss to extend their losing streak to six games on a foggy Wednesday night in the Bronx.

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NEW YORK -- With Miguel Sano crushing the hardest-hit homer of his career with a two-run blast in the first, it appeared the Twins would finally get some momentum to snap their losing streak and find a way to win at Yankee Stadium.

But it wasn't to be yet again, as right-hander Lance Lynn continued his struggles and the club scuffled with runners in scoring position in a 7-4 loss to extend their losing streak to six games on a foggy Wednesday night in the Bronx.

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"When I made pitches, I would get outs, but I didn't make them when it counted," Lynn said. "Seems like that's how it's going for me so far, so I've just got to get after it next time and get back to work."

Lynn, who signed a one-year deal during Spring Training, is off to the worst start of his career, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in four outings. He lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and three walks.

"He's going to attack and throw his fastball in different forms in terms of how he gets it to move," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I don't think he's where he wants to be. He's shown improvement, but obviously with this lineup right now, there's not much margin for error."

Sano helped stake the Twins to an early lead with his homer off Sonny Gray. It had an exit velocity of 114.6 mph, which is the third-hardest hit homer by a Twins player since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. It was also tied for the hardest-hit ball in Sano's career.

Video: MIN@NYY: Sano slugs 114.6-mph homer vs. the Yankees

But the Yankees came right back with three straight hits to open the bottom of the first, including an RBI single from the red-hot Didi Gregorius. New York took the lead with a four-run third, keyed by a solo homer from Gregorius and a three-run shot from Tyler Austin. Lynn later gave up a sacrifice fly to Aaron Judge in the fourth in an inning that saw Lynn roll his ankle on a throw home.

Video: MIN@NYY: Lynn gets shaken up in 4th, later exits

"The really big mistake was the three-run homer," Lynn said. "With two outs, that can't happen. Just made a bad pitch."

The Twins tried to claw back, scoring in the fourth on an RBI groundout from Robbie Grossman after loading the bases. But they left the bases loaded, foreshadowing what was to come. Minnesota put two runners on with nobody out in the fifth, but it couldn't score, and it couldn't capitalize again in the seventh, despite an RBI single from Max Kepler and another bases-loaded situation. But the Twins left them loaded yet again, going 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Video: MIN@NYY: Kepler grounds an RBI single up the middle

"At least we put some hits on the board and gave ourselves some opportunities," Molitor said. "Bases loaded, nobody out, we got one, and then had another situation late there where a base hit would've tied the game. But we couldn't get the big hit."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
LoMo can't deliver: Much like with Lynn, the Twins thought they were getting a bargain, signing Logan Morrison to a one-year deal in Spring Training. But Morrison has been mired in a season-long slump, and he couldn't come through in several key situations Wednesday. He came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, but reliever Chad Green got him to pop out to third. In the seventh, Morrison came up with the bases loaded again with one out, but lefty Chasen Shreve struck him out before getting Grossman to pop out to first on a great sliding catch from Austin in foul ground.

"My swing is better if I stay back a little longer and put it in the seats, but it's not where we're at right now," said Morrison, who is hitting .113 this season. "My swing is long, just got to be shorter to the ball."

Video: MIN@NYY: Green works out of a bases-loaded jam

SOUND SMART
Minnesota's six-game losing streak is the club's longest since losing seven in a row from Aug. 16-23, 2016. They are 1-12 at Yankee Stadium since '15, including the postseason.

HE SAID IT
"Get a hit with the bases loaded, and we'll get out of the funk. It's not far. We're not far off. Just keep going." -- Morrison

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The game ended on a review, as Eduardo Escobar hit a slow roller to Gregorius at short and was ruled out at first on the throw. After a review, the call was upheld, giving Aroldis Chapman the save. If Escobar would have been safe, Ryan LaMarre was set to pinch-hit for Morrison as the game's potential tying run.

Video: MIN@NYY: Chapman earns the save after review in 9th

UP NEXT
Right-hander Kyle Gibson is set to take the mound opposite left-hander Jordan Montgomery in the series finale on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. CT at Yankee Stadium. Gibson (1-1, 4.29 ERA) gave up four runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings against the Rays last time out. Sano, who homered on Wednesday, went deep off Montgomery in the lefty's lone career start against the Twins last season.

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

Minnesota Twins

Sano takes Gray deep for his hardest-hit HR

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano connected on the hardest-hit homer of his career in the first inning of Minnesota's 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday, crushing a two-run shot off right-hander Sonny Gray that had an exit velocity of 114.6 mph, per Statcast™.

Sano, who has 76 career homers since debuting in 2015, jumped all over a 1-0 changeup from Gray, delivering it a Statcast-projected 440 feet to left-center. It was more of a line drive than a majestic blast, as it had a low launch angle of 19 degrees.

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NEW YORK -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano connected on the hardest-hit homer of his career in the first inning of Minnesota's 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday, crushing a two-run shot off right-hander Sonny Gray that had an exit velocity of 114.6 mph, per Statcast™.

Sano, who has 76 career homers since debuting in 2015, jumped all over a 1-0 changeup from Gray, delivering it a Statcast-projected 440 feet to left-center. It was more of a line drive than a majestic blast, as it had a low launch angle of 19 degrees.

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Sano's previous highest exit velocity on a homer was 114.2 mph, set on Aug. 7, 2016, against Rays right-hander Ryan Garton. Wednesday's homer also tied for the hardest-hit ball in Sano's career, as he also had a single with an exit velocity of 114.6 mph on April 30, 2017.

Since Statcast™ debuted in 2015, only Kennys Vargas has hit a homer harder than Sano's blast on Wednesday. Vargas owns the two hardest-hit homers for the Twins since then, with an exit velocity of 116 mph on June 10, 2017, and 114.7 mph on May 9, 2017.

The homer was Sano's team-leading fifth of the season and his second career homer off Gray.

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

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano

Twins DFA Rule 5 Draft pick Kinley

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- With Twins pitchers struggling during their six-game losing streak and the club looking to add relief help from the Minors, Minnesota designated Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Kinley for assignment after its 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night. A corresponding move will come before Thursday's game at Yankee Stadium.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and the 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

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NEW YORK -- With Twins pitchers struggling during their six-game losing streak and the club looking to add relief help from the Minors, Minnesota designated Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Kinley for assignment after its 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night. A corresponding move will come before Thursday's game at Yankee Stadium.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and the 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

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Kinley, 27, struggled in his first taste of the Majors, allowing nine runs on nine hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings for a 24.30 ERA in four outings. His last appearance came Monday, when he gave up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius and could only record one out in the eighth before outfielder Ryan LaMarre came in to finish the inning.

Video: MIN@NYY: Gregorius hammers a grand slam to right

"It's obviously tough," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There's a lot to like about that young man. Unfortunately, we've run into a little bit of a spell here where with our rotation, we haven't got enough innings to feel like we're protected. We need to find a way to get some length, if needed, tomorrow."

If Kinley clears waivers, he must be offered back to the Marlins, unless Minnesota can work out a trade with Miami. If Kinley is claimed by another club, he has to stay on the 25-man roster the entire season or be offered back to the Marlins.

Kinley possesses plus stuff, with his fastball averaging 96.8 mph to go along with his slider that averages 89.1 mph. But he's had trouble harnessing it, and he gave up at least one run in three of his four outings.

Right-hander Aaron Slegers is a candidate to be recalled from Triple-A Rochester because of his ability to pitch in long relief. Slegers is slated to start with Rochester on Thursday. Right-hander John Curtiss is another option on the 40-man roster.

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

Minnesota Twins, Tyler Kinley

The Yankees and Twins played in the first great fog game of 2018 and the photos were outstanding

The Yankees beat the Twins, 7-4, on Wednesday night. But don't worry, we won't fault you if you didn't realize. Even if you were at the game or watching on TV because, um ... fog.

Wednesday's top prospect performers

Blue Jays products impress in upper Minors
MLB.com

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

A plethora of Blue Jays prospects showcased their skills across multiple levels as a trio of the organization's top prospects led Triple-A Buffalo to a win and the top prospects in the system fared well for Double-A New Hampshire.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

A plethora of Blue Jays prospects showcased their skills across multiple levels as a trio of the organization's top prospects led Triple-A Buffalo to a win and the top prospects in the system fared well for Double-A New Hampshire.

The Fisher Cats were unable to win the game, but No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) and Bo Bichette (No. 13 overall, Blue Jays' No. 2) once again showed why they are ranked so high. Bichette, 20, went 2-for-5 with a double and is batting .303 after going 4-for-10 over his past two games.

Guerrero registers second RBI

Guerrero, also experiencing the Double-A level for the first time, put together his second three-hit game of the season and drove in a trio of runs, including a game-tying sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Up at the Triple-A level, it was No. 47 overall prospect Anthony Alford (Blue Jay's No. 3), Ryan Borucki (No. 8) and Reese McGuire (No. 14) leading the Bisons to a win over Durham.

Alford and McGuire combined to go 4-for-6 with three RBIs and McGuire hit his first homer of the season, a two-run blast in the fourth, in the process.

On the mound, Borucki spun his best start of the season, giving up one run on five hits over six innings. The lefty also threw 61 of his 90 pitches for strikes, walked one and struck out seven, a season high.

Other top prospect performances from Wednesday's action:

• No. 10 overall prospect Michael Kopech (White Sox No. 2) put together another strong start for Triple-A Charlotte. Kopech, who has given up one earned run or fewer in three of his four starts, gave up one run on one hit in six innings. The right-hander walked two and also struck out eight, bringing his total to 29 through 21 innings this season.

Kopech fans eight

• No. 22 overall prospect Willy Adames (Rays' No. 2) continued his hot stretch with Triple-A Durham. Adames, who hit for the cycle on Monday, extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 2-for-4 effort. The 22-year-old has increased his average from .212 to .355 during that span and has two or more hits in three of his past four games. Rays No. 4 prospect Jesus Sanchez (No. 57 overall) also had a good game for Class A Advanced Charlotte, going 2-for-4 with a double and his fifth homer of the season.

• No. 48 overall prospect Justus Sheffield (Yankees' No. 3) continues to pile up the strikeouts with Double-A Trenton. The lefty gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits over six innings while striking out eight. Sheffield has spun 22 innings this season and collected 30 strikeouts.

• No. 50 overall prospect Adrian Morejon (Padres' No. 6) was lights-out for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. After giving up four runs in his last start, Morejon limited the damage this time around to one run on two hits. The lefty also struck out five in as many innings.

• No. 95 overall prospect Adam Haseley (Phillies' No. 6) is heating up for Class A Advanced Clearwater. After going 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, Haseley has two hits in four of his past five games and at least one hit in 12 of his last 13. He's also increased his batting average from .200 to .280 in that span.

Post game Interview: Haseley

Angels No. 11 prospect Jesus Castillo was nearly flawless for seven innings with Double-A Mobile. The 22-year-old right-hander didn't surrender a hit and threw 51 of his 70 pitches for strikes in his first scoreless start of the season. Castillo struck out four and only allowed one baserunner via a hit batter.

Castillo notches the K

Braves No. 16 prospect Dustin Peterson put together his second straight three-hit day for Triple-A Gwinnett. Peterson, who went 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, is 6-for-10 with two homers and six RBIs over his past two games.

Indians No. 7 prospect Will Benson showed off some power with his third career two-homer game. Benson went 2-for-3 with a pair of solo home runs for Class A Lake County in Game 1 of a doubleheader, a game that also featured a no-hitter.

Orioles prospects Cedric Mullins (No. 7) and Keegan Akin (No. 9) led Double-A Bowie to a win over Richmond. Mullins extended his hitting streak to six games with a 2-for-4 performance that included a double and a solo homer. On the mound, Akin yielded just three hits and struck out five across six scoreless innings. The 23-year-old gave up seven runs over nine innings to start the season but has since allowed just one run in his past 12 frames.

Twins No. 14 prospect Travis Blankenhorn hit a pair of solo homers for Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Blankenhorn, who has four home runs this season, has gone deep three times over the past three games. The two-homer game also marked his first of the season and the second of his career.

White Sox No. 10 prospect Micker Adolfo went deep in both games of Class A Advanced Winston Salem's doubleheader. The 21-year-old, who now has five homers this season, went 1-for-2 with a solo homer in the first game, then exploded for five RBIs - via an RBI double, sacrifice fly and three-run homer - in the second game.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Buxton remains sidelined with toe injury

Migraine issue has subsided, but CF out after fouling ball off left foot
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton remains sidelined after fouling a ball off his left foot on Sunday. He hit off a tee on Wednesday, but he didn't feel good enough to play in an extended spring camp game.

Buxton underwent a procedure where a drill was inserted into his left big toenail to relieve pressure in his toe, but he remains sore and is day to day. He's on the 10-day disabled list with migraines, but that issue has subsided.

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NEW YORK -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton remains sidelined after fouling a ball off his left foot on Sunday. He hit off a tee on Wednesday, but he didn't feel good enough to play in an extended spring camp game.

Buxton underwent a procedure where a drill was inserted into his left big toenail to relieve pressure in his toe, but he remains sore and is day to day. He's on the 10-day disabled list with migraines, but that issue has subsided.

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Buxton became eligible to return on Wednesday, but he's not likely to return until this weekend at the earliest. As manager Paul Molitor noted, Buxton hasn't played with the Twins since April 12, as the club had three straight postponed games before their two-game series in Puerto Rico that Buxton missed with migraines. He played in a rehab game with Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Sunday, going 0-for-4.

The Twins have struggled without Buxton, as they entered Wednesday in the midst of a five-game losing streak. Molitor said Buxton's importance to the team means they could push him to return soon instead of going through a lengthy rehab assignment to get at-bats.

"Once his feet are ready to play, I'm not going to be worried about how they're going to work," Molitor said. "It's one of those questions where more at-bats would probably be better, but there's something about his presence being here. Him patrolling center field has value, and he's unique in that way. We might have a little bit more of a desire to get him back sooner than later. I think everyone feels a little void when he's not around."

UMPS CARE charity auction
Major League Baseball umpires are offering more than 300 items that include priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences and upgraded ticket packages during its 10th annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is currently underway at mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 9 p.m. CT on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide MLB experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children and financial assistance for families in need.

"Each year, thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world, we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said Gary Darling, former MLB umpire and board president for UMPS CARE Charities. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."

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

Minnesota Twins, Byron Buxton

Bats, Berrios scuffle in Twins' 5th straight loss

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Not even a red-hot Jose Berrios could halt the Twins' losing streak and struggles at Yankee Stadium, as the right-hander scuffled through four-plus innings in an 8-3 loss that extended Minnesota's losing streak to five games on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Berrios, who entered having thrown at least seven scoreless innings in three of his four starts and had walked just one batter this year, didn't have his best stuff against the Yankees, surrendering five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

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NEW YORK -- Not even a red-hot Jose Berrios could halt the Twins' losing streak and struggles at Yankee Stadium, as the right-hander scuffled through four-plus innings in an 8-3 loss that extended Minnesota's losing streak to five games on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Berrios, who entered having thrown at least seven scoreless innings in three of his four starts and had walked just one batter this year, didn't have his best stuff against the Yankees, surrendering five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

View Full Game Coverage

Berrios tried to locate his two-seamers to both sides of the plate, but the Yankees were patient, and he didn't get the calls he'd hoped for.

"I felt good out there overall," Berrios said through a translator. "At the end of the day, we had a game plan, and I executed it, but they executed it better. They were very careful at what they were swinging at, very selective."

Berrios served up an opposite-field homer to Gary Sanchez in the second before allowing a go-ahead RBI single to Didi Gregorius in the third. He was hurt by a wild pitch on a strikeout and an error from catcher Mitch Garver in the fourth, with Gleyber Torres cashing in a run on a single for his first career RBI. Berrios was knocked from the game in the fifth on a two-run homer from Gregorius.

"Jose wasn't as good as we've seen him," manager Paul Molitor said. "He battled fairly well and minimized until Gregorius' homer. But everything is magnified when you're not swinging the bats well. You can't hold them down, and you can't score. It's been a bad combination. It's put us in a little bit of a funk here."

Minnesota's bats remained cold and didn't help Berrios despite scoring an early run against lefty CC Sabathia. Miguel Sano walked in the first and scored on a double from Eduardo Escobar, with right fielder Aaron Judge charged with an error on the play. Sabathia scattered two hits and a walk over six innings. The Twins didn't score again until the seventh, keyed by an error from Torres on a throw to first from Sanchez. Escobar went 3-for-3 and added an RBI double in the eighth.

Video: MIN@NYY: Escobar drives in Kepler with an RBI double

"You look for ways to improve and try to get back on track," Molitor said. "There's no magic in this game. You talk about the peaks and valleys you have to endure. We've been tested here early, but we just have to find a way to respond. You just know when you're going through these things. You can feel it, and you have to try to find a way to turn it around."

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier saw his club-record 17-game hitting streak to open the season come to an end by going 0-for-4. The hit streak was 24 games going back to last season.

"Couldn't care less about the streak," Dozier said. "Sometimes it rains. Sometimes you lose five in a row. The beautiful thing about it is, we play tomorrow."

Much like in Monday's 14-1 loss, the Yankees put away the game late with power, with Judge hitting a solo homer and Sanchez smacking a two-run blast off reliever Tyler Duffey in the seventh.

Video: MIN@NYY: Molitor discusses Berrios' outing in loss

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Twins can't capitalize: Minnesota made it interesting against reliever Dellin Betances in the seventh after a leadoff walk from Escobar, a throwing error from Betances on a pickoff throw and a one-out single from Garver to right. Escobar was held at third on the throw home, but Garver made too big of a turn at first and Sanchez tried to throw him out, but Torres missed the throw. That allowed Escobar to score, and Betances promptly walked Logan Morrison to bring up the potential tying run. But reliever David Robertson came in and struck out Ehire Adrianza and got pinch-hitter Joe Mauer to ground out to escape the jam.

Video: MIN@NYY: Escobar scores on Sanchez's error

SOUND SMART
The Yankees improved to 27-9 against the Twins, including the postseason, at the current Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

HE SAID IT
"Offensively, we might be pressing a little bit too much. When you get in little funks as a complete unit or individually, you try to do too much. You try to hit a three-run homer with nobody on base. You try to explode in one kind of swing. We've got to get back to our basics of getting on base." -- Dozier

UP NEXT
After being held out of the lineup against lefty Sabathia, Mauer will start against Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium at 5:35 p.m. CT. Right-hander Lance Lynn gets the start looking for his first win of the season. Lynn has struggled this year, with a 6.00 ERA in three starts, and gave up five runs in six innings against the Rays last time out.

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

Minnesota Twins

Twins recall Duffey after Busenitz optioned

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- After optioning right-hander Alan Busenitz to Triple-A Rochester after Monday's game, the Twins recalled right-hander Tyler Duffey from Rochester on Tuesday to take Busenitz's spot on the roster.

Duffey saw immediate action on Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits over two innings in relief in Minnesota's 8-3 loss to the Yankees. Duffey was hurt by a solo homer from Aaron Judge and a two-run shot from Gary Sanchez in the seventh inning. Both home runs came on fastballs.

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NEW YORK -- After optioning right-hander Alan Busenitz to Triple-A Rochester after Monday's game, the Twins recalled right-hander Tyler Duffey from Rochester on Tuesday to take Busenitz's spot on the roster.

Duffey saw immediate action on Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits over two innings in relief in Minnesota's 8-3 loss to the Yankees. Duffey was hurt by a solo homer from Aaron Judge and a two-run shot from Gary Sanchez in the seventh inning. Both home runs came on fastballs.

View Full Game Coverage

Duffey competed for a spot on the Opening Day roster in Spring Training, getting stretched out into a starting role before beginning the year at Rochester. He pitched 11 innings in the Minors without allowing an earned run, striking out 14 batters and walking one.

Duffey, who hadn't pitched in the Minors since 2016, said the change in environment helped him slow things down on the mound, which led to his success.

"Honestly, I just took a step back and slowed down once I got optioned during camp," Duffey said. "Just cleaned up things a little bit. Mechanics and pitches. Everything feels pretty good and has been working. Hopefully, it translates and I can keep doing it. The game up here speeds up. You kind of forget about it because I was up here for two years. I realized what it meant and how sped up I had actually gotten."

Duffey said that with his improved mechanics, his command was much better in Rochester and that he was able to mix in his developing changeup along with his fastball and curveball. He noted that Minor League balls are slightly different, with larger seams, but he threw with Major League balls during bullpen sessions, and threw off the mound before Tuesday's game.

He pitched in relief at Rochester but it was more of a modified starting role, as he was stretched out in all four outings. He threw 51 pitches in three scoreless innings against Columbus on Friday and is available to pitch on Tuesday.

"I feel good and fresh," he said. "Even having thrown 50, I feel really good. If it's two or three innings or one inning, it'll all be the same. Hopefully, I'll just be useful and get the outs when I need them."

The 27-year-old has made 92 appearances (36 starts) for the Twins over the past three seasons, posting a 16-16 record and a 5.29 ERA in that span. He pitched exclusively in relief last season after previously working as a starter.

"We haven't had that guy who can give us length from the bullpen to this point," manager Paul Molitor said. "We've used a lot of people over the last four games, so we needed someone who could bring us some relief."

Busenitz pitched in four games with the Twins; his ERA rose to 6.75 on Tuesday night after he was charged with two runs while recording two outs in Minnesota's 14-1 loss to the Yankees.

Buxton still out

Center fielder Byron Buxton, who is on the 10-day disabled list with migraines, was held out of the lineup at Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Tuesday for a second straight day after hitting a foul ball off his left toe on Sunday. He's going to get treatment on the foot at the club's Spring Training complex and is expected to play in extended spring training on Wednesday to get more at-bats. He's eligible to be activated on Wednesday, but Molitor said the best-case scenario has him returning on Friday, when the Twins head home for a three-game series against the Reds.

Kinley scuffling

Rule 5 reliever Tyler Kinley has had a rough go through his first four appearances, allowing nine runs in 3 1/3 innings -- including a grand slam by Didi Gregorius on Monday -- for a 24.30 ERA. Molitor said they're still trying to find ways to use Kinley, who must stay on the roster or be offered back to the Marlins, but that his struggles make it tough to find the right situations.

"I don't think it's that uncommon where you try to protect the Rule 5 guys the best that you can," Molitor said. "Just keep looking for spots and hoping something builds momentum. ... The fact that we're still holding on, we must still see some light there, and we're trying to see if it can happen."

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

Minnesota Twins, Tyler Duffey

Tuesday's top prospect performers

A's No. 2 impresses in Double-A debut
MLB.com

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

Jesus Luzardo allowed two runs on two hits in the first inning of his Double-A debut but was nearly untouchable the rest of the way, completing five strong innings of three-hit ball as Midland edged Corpus Christi, 3-2.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

Jesus Luzardo allowed two runs on two hits in the first inning of his Double-A debut but was nearly untouchable the rest of the way, completing five strong innings of three-hit ball as Midland edged Corpus Christi, 3-2.

Luzardo, Oakland's No. 2 prospect (No. 60 overall), struck out the side in the second inning before finishing with five strikeouts and one walk. He also induced a handful of ground-ball outs in the performance, throwing 45 of his 78 pitches for strikes.

Luzardo's promotion to the Texas League in the first month of the season was the latest in what has been a series of quick promotions for the 20-year-old left-hander.

Luzardo fans fifth batter of day

A third-round pick by the Nationals in 2016 despite having undergone Tommy John surgery a few months prior, Luzardo received a well-above-slot bonus to forgo his Miami commitment. He made his highly anticipated pro debut nearly a year later and dazzled in a trio of Rookie-level Gulf Coast League starts before joining the A's at the July Trade Deadline in the deal that netted Washington Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Luzardo continued to impress following the trade, too, pitching to a 1.82 ERA with 33 strikeouts and a .194 BAA in 29 2/3 innings (nine starts) between the Rookie-level Arizona and the Class A Short Season New York-Penn Leagues.

Luzardo's performance convinced the A's that the precocious sophomore was ready for a greater challenge, as he made just three starts in the hitter-friendly Class A Advanced California League -- posting a 1.23 ERA, a .120 opponents' average and a 25-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 2/3 innings -- before a bump up to Double-A.

With his latest debut behind him, Luzardo now boasts a 1.71 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP across his first 63 innings as a professional. He's racked up 78 strikeouts against 11 walks in that span, while limiting opposing hitters to a .193 average and zero home runs.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

No. 8 overall prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres' No. 1) hit solo home runs in the sixth and ninth innings to account for both runs in Double-A San Antonio's 5-2 loss against Frisco. It marked the second career multi-homer game for the 19-year-old shortstop, who now has gone deep three times in 18 games for the Missions. He's batting an even .200 on the season.

Tatis Jr. slams solo homer

No. 13 overall prospect Bo Bichette (Blue Jays' No. 2) went home-to-third twice for Double-A New Hampshire in his first career two-triple game. He also scored a pair of runs in the contest before finishing 2-for-5. The 20-year-old shortstop is batting .296/.375/.428 on the season, with hits in 13 of 16 games for the Fisher Cats. Jonathan Davis (No. 28) led off the game with a home run, his first of the season, and drove in three in the 9-4 victory over Binghamton.

Bichette smacks second triple

Angels No. 9 prospect Matt Thaiss tallied three extra-base hits but ultimately fell a home run short of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a triple in Double-A Mobile's win over Mississippi. Thaiss matched his career high with the four hits and improved his batting average by 40 points, from .250 to .290, in the process. The 2016 first-rounder has 12 runs, 14 RBIs and seven extra-base hits in 17 games this season.

Thaiss hits game's second double

Tigers No. 10 prospect Christin Stewart blasted his third home run in his first multi-hit game of the year to help lead Triple-A Toledo past Pawtucket. He also doubled and hit a pair of singles to finish 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. The 24-year-old outfielder is slashing .250/.370/.450 through 17 games after hitting .256/.335/.501 with 28 homers last season over 136 Double-A contests.

Stewart slugs home run

No. 79 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 3) tossed five innings of one-run ball en route to his third win in four starts for Double-A Chattanooga. The 23-year-old recorded a season-high nine of his 15 outs via the strikeout while scattering four hits with two walks and throwing 60 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Gonsalves has pitched to a 1.77 ERA, with 25 strikeouts and 10 walks, while limiting batters to seven hits in 20 1/3 innings.

No. 59 overall prospect Alex Faedo's fourth career start was his longest. The Tigers' No. 3 prospect completed 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with six strikeouts for Class A Advanced Lakeland in a no-decision against Dunedin. Faedo, the No. 18 overall pick in last year's Draft, has worked at least five innings in all four starts, posting a 2.74 ERA with 21 strikeouts and one walk over 23 innings in that span.

Video: Top Prospects: Alex Faedo, RHP, Tigers

Blue Jays No. 19 prospect Kevin Smith went 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and five RBIs, leading Class A Lansing past Dayton, 7-0. The homer, a three-run shot in the third inning, was Smith's second of the season and snapped a seven-game extra-base hit drought. The 2017 fourth-rounder is batting .286 overall with 17 RBIs, 10 runs and five steals through 15 games.

Braves No. 16 prospect Dustin Peterson's first home run of the season was a grand slam that proved the difference in Triple-A Gwinnett's 5-2 win against Rochester. He finished the contest with three hits and four RBIs, both season highs for the 23-year-old outfielder.

Cubs No. 28 prospect Cory Abbott was sharp for Class A South Bend in Game 1 of a doubleheader, tossing seven strong innings during which he allowed two hits -- including a solo home run -- and struck out six. The 22-year-old righty, Chicago's second-round pick in 2017, has given up three hits in his past two starts and owns a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings (three starts) on the season.

Marlins No. 11 prospect Brian Miller enjoyed a six-hit day as Class A Advanced Jupiter split a doubleheader with Palm Beach. The 22-year-old center fielder collected four hits in the opener for the second time in four games, going 4-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases, and then added two more knocks, as well as two RBIs, in the nightcap. Overall, Miller improved his average from .313 to .360 with the 6-for-8 performance.

Angels No. 29 prospect Joe Gatto, a 22-year-old right-hander, allowed one hit over six innings in his second straight scoreless start for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Throwing 47 of his 78 pitches for strikes, Gatto posted five strikeouts against two walks and induced 10 ground-ball outs. He's now kept his opponent out of the run column in three of four starts in the California League. Overall, Gatto has pitched to a 2.37 ERA with 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 19 innings.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Dozier lone bright spot as Twins struggle in NY

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- In what was both a continuation of their struggles since the Puerto Rico series and their prolonged troubles at Yankee Stadium, the Twins fell behind early against the Yankees and couldn't recover in a 14-1 loss on Monday night that extended Minnesota's losing streak to four games. New York made it a blowout with three runs in the seventh and six in the eighth, giving the Twins their worst loss since July 19, 2015, in a 14-1 defeat against the A's.

After getting swept in St. Petersburg, the Twins turned to right-hander Jake Odorizzi for the series opener, but he was hit hard in the first inning before settling down. Odorizzi was hurt by a pair of walks in the opening frame, including Giancarlo Stanton with two outs, despite getting ahead, 0-2. Gary Sanchez made him pay with a two-run double off the left-center-field wall before scoring on a single from former Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks.

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NEW YORK -- In what was both a continuation of their struggles since the Puerto Rico series and their prolonged troubles at Yankee Stadium, the Twins fell behind early against the Yankees and couldn't recover in a 14-1 loss on Monday night that extended Minnesota's losing streak to four games. New York made it a blowout with three runs in the seventh and six in the eighth, giving the Twins their worst loss since July 19, 2015, in a 14-1 defeat against the A's.

After getting swept in St. Petersburg, the Twins turned to right-hander Jake Odorizzi for the series opener, but he was hit hard in the first inning before settling down. Odorizzi was hurt by a pair of walks in the opening frame, including Giancarlo Stanton with two outs, despite getting ahead, 0-2. Gary Sanchez made him pay with a two-run double off the left-center-field wall before scoring on a single from former Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks.

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"A lot of self-inflicted damage by me tonight," Odorizzi said. "Too many three-ball counts. Letting guys back into at-bats. Just a lot of not executing pitches. Tonight is completely on me. I put us behind the eight-ball early and didn't give us a chance to win tonight. These guys in here deserve better, and I'm going to give them better in the future."

Video: MIN@NYY: Odorizzi honors Farquhar with 'Farq' on cap

Despite the club's scuffles in both scoring and preventing runs since leaving Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Odorizzi said the Twins aren't panicking. But Twins manager Paul Molitor admitted he can tell some players are pressing offensively to try to get it going in the right direction.

"There's still quiet optimism even though the last couple games have been sketchy," Odorizzi said. "I take pride in stopping streaks like this. It's something where I give myself a little extra energy to stop a losing streak. But I wasn't able to do that tonight. We have three more games, so a lot of series left and a lot of season left. It's April, so there's plenty of time to right the ship for the team, me, everybody."

New York tacked on another run in the second on a solo homer from Miguel Andujar before Odorizzi got on track, retiring 11 of 13 before getting chased with two outs in the fifth on a solo blast from Stanton. Odorizzi was charged with five runs on five hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings to fall to 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

Video: MIN@NYY: Odorizzi strikes out Austin, side in the 3rd

"The outing was a struggle from the beginning, and as we've seen [Odorizzi] do, he tried to stay with it as best he could," Molitor said. "It was just one of those things where we tried to stretch him out as far as we could knowing how we were a little strapped as far as people we wanted to bring in the game with a deficit."

The Twins were stymied by right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up one run on three hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. Minnesota didn't score until the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single from Brian Dozier. In one of the lone positives of the night, Dozier extended his hit streak to 17 games this season and 24 games going back to last year. The 17 straight games to open the year with a hit extends Dozier's club record.

Video: MIN@NYY: Dozier extends streak despite fan's shirt

"Dozier had a really nice at-bat to get us on the board," Molitor said. "But we couldn't do much other than that."

New York broke the game open with a three-run seventh, with Stanton connecting on an RBI single and Tyler Austin adding a two-run double off Alan Busenitz. Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Kinley also served up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius in the eighth.

Kinley's struggles led to center fielder Ryan LaMarre pitching in the eighth inning. LaMarre gave up a two-run homer to Austin but retired Hicks and Andujar.

Video: MIN@NYY: Outfielder LaMarre induces groundout in 8th

"It was just a bad situation, just don't get hurt," said LaMarre, who pitched one inning with the Red Sox in '16. "Try to throw the ball over the plate and get some balls hit at people, hopefully. You hate to be in that situation, just from a win-loss situation."

BUSENITZ OPTIONED
After getting charged with two runs while recording two outs to see his ERA rise to 6.75 in four appearances this year, Busenitz was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the game. The Twins will make a corresponding move on Tuesday, with Tyler Duffey the most likely candidate to be recalled.

SOUND SMART
Dating back to 2002, the Twins are 14-47 (.230 winning percentage) at Yankee Stadium, including postseason series losses in 2003, '04, '09 and '10 and last year's American League Wild Card Game.

HE SAID IT
"It has been tough. I think we've tried to compete and stay with these games, and we've been playing from behind a lot. I think that can be trying if you do it day after day. We're kind of looking for that day where something good happens early for us offensively, and your starter goes up and it gives us a chance to play the game from the other side of the coin." -- Molitor, on the losing streak

UP NEXT
Fresh off throwing seven scoreless innings in his native Puerto Rico against the Indians on Wednesday, right-hander Jose Berrios (2-1, 1.63 ERA) will continue to build upon his impressive start to the season. He's thrown at least seven scoreless innings in three of his four starts, and he has walked one batter in 27 2/3 innings compared to 29 strikeouts. Berrios will oppose Yankees lefty CC Sabathia in Tuesday's 5:35 p.m. CT contest.

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

Minnesota Twins

A fan in a 'Dozier's Streak Ends Today' shirt had a great view of Brian extending his hitting streak to 24 games

You often hear players say they enjoy being booed on the road. Getting a rough reception as a visiting player provides plenty of motivation, ticking the adrenaline just a bit higher.

Brian Dozier took a 23-game hitting streak into play in the Twins' 14-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx, as he's been on quite an offensive tear dating back to the last few days of the 2017 season. 

These are the Top 30 international prospects

MLB.com

Long before Louis Eljaua rose to special assistant to the president and general manager of the Cubs, he was the young and energetic top international scout for the Marlins. Back then, his boss was Al Avila, now the general manager for the Tigers.

Eljaua vividly recalls a conversation with Avila in 1998 like it happened yesterday. Each time he tells the story of that famous call, he puts his right thumb to his ear and talks into his right pinkie like it's the old hotel phone he used.

Long before Louis Eljaua rose to special assistant to the president and general manager of the Cubs, he was the young and energetic top international scout for the Marlins. Back then, his boss was Al Avila, now the general manager for the Tigers.

Eljaua vividly recalls a conversation with Avila in 1998 like it happened yesterday. Each time he tells the story of that famous call, he puts his right thumb to his ear and talks into his right pinkie like it's the old hotel phone he used.

Top 30 International Prospects list

"I found the guy, Al! I found the guy our owner was looking for. He's 15. Come to Venezuela," Eljaua shrieked through the phone.

Avila, who was in Miami at the time, was not pleased to hear the news. The Marlins had never spent more than $30,000 on an international teen.

Top International Prospects

"Are you crazy, Louis? [Owner] John Henry gives us money and you are going to spend it all on your first trip and the first kid you see? Are you trying to get us all fired? What is wrong with you?"

"I know, I know," Eljaua answered. "Just come see the kid. He's good. You won't be sorry."

That kid was Miguel Cabrera. And less than a year later, the teenager signed with the Marlins for $1.8 million to launch his future Hall of Fame career and forever set the standard for international teenage prospects.

The hunt for the next Cabrera continues, and each year an increasing number of prospects sign when the international signing period begins on July 2; hundreds more will join Major League organizations later this summer.

Led by catcher Diego Cartaya -- who like Cabrera is from Maracay, Venezuela -- the players on MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 30 International Prospects list represent the greatest young talent from across the globe eligible to sign on July 2.

The ultimate goal is nabbing a baseball unicorn like Cabrera. But signing a horse like Cartaya, a hard-hitting catcher with advanced skills, or other emerging international prospects also offer teams options.

Video: Top International Prospects: Diego Cartaya, C

Remember, the Cubs traded top teen Gleyber Torres of Venezuela to the Yankees as part of a deal for Aroldis Chapman in 2016, and the rest is World Series history. Last year, they traded the Dominican Republic's Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox in a deal for Jose Quintana. Both are the top prospects in their organizations. Back in '16, the Red Sox traded Yoan Moncada in a package to the White Sox for pitcher Chris Sale. The A's acquired Franklin Barreto from the Blue Jays in a deal for third baseman Josh Donaldson in '14.

"If you are not investing time and money and effort to sign international players, you are missing out on making your organization one of the best in the game," Eljaua said. "Why would you ignore a market and just focus on one or two ways to acquire talent when these guys are going to play in your system, hopefully in the big leagues, or be a part of a package that helps you fill a missing piece? And it's not all about the money and paying the most money. It's about scouting and working and finding out about makeup and helping your entire system."

Who is signing whom
More than 950 prospects have signed during the international signing period that started July 2, 2017, and that number could increase during the 2018-19 period, because there are thousands who have registered to become eligible.

In addition to prospects from traditional baseball hot spots like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and the Bahamas, there are also prospects from places like Europe, the Caribbean islands and Asia who have also registered.

Video: Top International Prospects: Marco Luciano, OF

As far as the list is concerned, the Dodgers are the favorites to sign Cartaya. Marco Luciano, a power-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, a close second behind Cartaya in the rankings, is linked to the Giants. Outfielder Misael Urbina of Venezuela, who is ranked No. 3, is an advanced hitter expected to have an above-average hit tool and plus speed. He is linked to the Twins. Rounding out the top five is Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Richard Gallardo, linked to the Cubs, and Orelvis Martinez, a power-hitting shortstop from the D.R. sometimes compared to a young Adrian Beltre. The Blue Jays are the favorite to sign Martinez.

Video: Richard Gallardo named top int'l pitching prospect

Breakdown
This year's Top 30 International Prospects list includes 10 players from Venezuela, 16 from the Dominican Republic, three from Cuba and one from Colombia. The positions break down like this: 11 outfielders, eight infielders, seven pitchers and four catchers.

The best athletes at premium positions are the most appealing to international scouts. Three of the top 13 are catchers and three of the top 10 are pitchers. Shortstops and center fielders are also highly coveted in this year's class.

International signing rules, spending
There are specific guidelines for signing prospects like Cartaya: An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of the next year if he is 17 or will turn 17 by the end of the first season of his contract.

Video: Cartaya tops MLB's international prospects list

The rules for signing international prospects are these: Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Rule 4 Draft receive a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive $5,504,500. All other clubs receive $4,983,500.

International amateur free agency & bonus pool money explained

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

In terms of spending, the Blue Jays, Brewers, D-backs, Mariners, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies, Tigers, Twins and Yankees are expected to be aggressive in the upcoming signing period. The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Royals -- teams that will no longer be in the penalty for exceeding their past international bonus pool spending -- are also expected to be very active.

The A's, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres, Reds and White Sox are in the maximum penalty, so they cannot sign players for more than $300,000 during the upcoming period.

"We are all looking for the next Miguel Cabrera, but I think it's unfair to compare anybody to him because he was just on another level," Eljaua said. "But the reality is, my old team already paid me for that sign. I'm getting paid to find another one. That's what the job is."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.