Even-keeled Twins keep focus
MINNEAPOLIS — The home clubhouse in Minneapolis on Sunday was silent after the final game of the series was lost in distressing fashion, a fifth defeat in the last seven contests for the Twins that let the surging Indians create another tie for the AL Central lead.
As players packed for a road trip, minus the usual upbeat music blaring in the background, the mood in the room was hardly somber or tense. Even having the would-be winning run get thrown out at the plate in the ninth inning and the team’s top relief pitcher give up a grand slam in the 10th didn’t qualify as a devastating development amid the 162game grind of baseball.
Particularly not under the supervision of rookie manager Rocco Baldelli, whose perpetually relaxed and upbeat demeanor has had more of an influence on these Twins in his first year than any strategic decision or lineup change.
“We’re in a pretty good frame of mind,” Baldelli said following Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Indians. “. ... We have a very stable clubhouse.”
The Twins surprised even a significant faction of their own organization by taking a lead that reached 111⁄ games on June 3.
The Indians overtook the idle Twins on Monday night for first in the division with a 6-5 win over the Red Sox in Cleveland.
The Twins now trail the Indians by a half-game.
“If it was a sprint, Cleveland would have had a bad year when they didn’t start so hot. It’s a marathon,” Rogers said, “and this group will keep doing what it has been doing, and we will see what happens.”
First-year manager Rocco Baldelli has the Twins in “a pretty good frame of mind.”