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
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.