After dropping the first game of the midweek series, the Minnesota Twins reminded the Detroit Tigers why they are the team everyone picked to win the division this season, winning 5-1.
Even with Joe Mauer taking the day off, the Twins brought plenty of firepower to bear, with Justin Morneau hitting a solo homer and an RBI double. Some of the other guys chipped in too, getting all bunty and small-bally in the fifth. See: they were so confident that they freely gave up outs just to show the Tigers how awesome they were! Kevin Slowey gave up one run on four hits in six innings. He had to leave early, though, after being smacked in the ankle with a comebacker.
The Twins now sit one and a half games in front on the Central. It’s probably worth noting that they are the only team in the division with a positive run differential as well (+52 to the Tigers’ -4).
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.