The hottest team in MLB is … the Minnesota Twins?
Torii Hunter went 3-for-5 with a solo shot and three runs scored Saturday as the Twins collected their fourth straight victory with a 7-4 defeat of the host Indians. Minnesota has now won nine of its last 10 and will carry a surprising 18-13 record into Sunday’s series finale at Progressive Park in Cleveland.
Regression is probably coming, but the Twins did have five prospects in Baseball America’s latest Top 100: Byron Buxton (No. 2), Miguel Sano (No. 13), Jose Berrios (No. 36), Nick Gordon (No. 61), Alex Meyer (No. 62). Buxton has been on a tear at Double-A Chattanooga and Sano has long been considered one of the premier young sluggers in the minors.
Hope, for a franchise and a fanbase that has suffered through four consecutive 90-plus-loss seasons.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
Orioles 6, Yankees 2
Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 7
Royals 6, Tigers 2
Braves 6, Nationals 8
Twins 7, Indians 4
Reds 10, White Sox 4 (Game 1)
Rangers 2, Rays 7
Mets 3, Phillies 2
Cardinals 5, Pirates 7
Cubs 4, Brewers 12
Reds 2, White Sox 8 (Game 2)
Astros 6, Angels 5
Padres 6, Diamondbacks 4 (12 innings)
Marlins 6, Giants 2
Athletics 2, Mariners 7
Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com has the update …
J.J. Hardy could return to the Orioles on Thursday when they begin a series against the Yankees, manager Buck Showalter said.
Hardy, who has been on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, is scheduled to play his third rehab game for Bowie on Wednesday night. He was 3-for-8 in the first two games.
Hardy was placed on the disabled list before Opening Day after suffering a strained left shoulder in one of the Orioles’ final Grapefruit League games. The hope was that he’d be ready for activation when first eligible — on April 11 — but a couple of minor setbacks prevented that from happening. Everth Cabrera has been serving as Baltimore’s primary shortstop. He entered play Wednesday with a brutal .213/.226/.238 batting line in 22 games.
Astros right fielder George Springer made a stellar catch on Tuesday night against the right-field wall at Minute Maid Park, but he looked dazed afterward and is now being placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list, per the team’s Twitter account.
Preston Tucker has been promoted from Triple-A Fresno to give Houston some needed outfield depth and shortstop Jed Lowrie has been shifted from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list to open a 40-man roster spot for Tucker. Lowrie will be out until after the All-Star break with a thumb injury.
Concussions come with a range of severities and recovery timetables, so it’s not worth speculating when Springer might be back. The 25-year-old former first-round pick carried big-time hype into 2015 after tallying 20 home runs and 51 RBI in 78 games last season as a rookie. Springer is batting just .192/.311/.374 in 27 games this season, though he does have four home runs, 10 stolen bases, and 14 runs scored.
Eddie Rosario was promoted from Triple-A Rochester on Monday and drew his first start Wednesday night against the Athletics. Here is the very first pitch of his very first major league at-bat …
According to MLB.com beat writer Rhett Bollinger, the 23-year-old Rosario is the sixth player in Twins history to homer in his first major league at-bat but the first player in Twins history to do it on the first pitch. He was listed 60th on the top-100 prospect rankings at Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2014 season but fell off those rankings entirely after batting .237/.277/.396 in 79 games at Double-A New Britain last summer.
Joey Votto is probably facing a suspension for this scene Wednesday at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park …
The initial ejection seemed a little unwarranted — how many other players spike their equipment after striking out? — but that’s no excuse to make contact with an umpire. You can see in the video that Votto also exchanged some words with Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. “You pitch, I hit,” was the PG-rated part.