In what turned out to be a hot and humid day at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins’ bats seemed to match the weather as they clubbed four homeruns in route to a 8-4 victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox. Included in the four homeruns was a record for the Twins as it was the first time in team history that the seven, eight, nine and one hitters in the lineup all hit a homerun in the same game. The Twins didn’t hit those homeruns consecutively, but they were spaced out throughout the game. Thursday also marked the third time in four games that Brian Dozier—who is not known for his power or offensive ability—hit a homerun for the Twins, so the power surge certainly reached all levels of the Twins’ lineup.
The production from the bottom of the order is a big deal moving forward for the Twins, who are creeping evermore closer to the .500 mark with a 33-36 following their series sweep. The team now hits the road for a series at Cleveland and Miami, before returning for a four-game series against Kansas City. These all are winnable ballgames for the Twins and it is these kind of games that the team needs to do well in if they plan on getting above the .500 mark. Starting pitching and production from all parts of the lineup will remain the key with the Twins, but this past series certainly gives the team hope and confidence that the offense may be starting to gel along with the starting pitching. With Detroit being the only team that is consistently playing better than the rest of the division, the Twins could take advantage of poor play by the remaining teams in the division to make a run over the next few weeks.
The frustrating part is that the Twins have shown glimpses of success like this earlier this season and have promptly followed it up by going on an extended losing streak. Much of the problems could be linked to their inconsistent starting pitching, which has been markedly improved over the past few weeks, but it also is a hallmark of a young and inexperienced team. The schedule certainly favors the Twins continuing their success, but—like always—the pitching staff will determine how well or poorly the team performs over those games.
With the trade deadline a little over a month away, these next few series will be very important for the Twins moving forward to determine whether or not they will be sellers or buyers at the deadline. I would imagine that the Twins won’t shake things up too much between now and the deadline and even if they are relatively in contention, I do not see them making a blockbuster deal that jeopardizes any of their prospects and their bright future as an organization.
It certainly will be an interesting month ahead for the Twins. It is possible that the power surge the Twins have experienced over the past few games may be a sign that the Twins are about to heat up like a Minnesota summer; however, if the Twins are going to perform like a Minnesota summer, fans better be prepared for some stormy weather ahead.