Kubel starting to heat up

In this edition of Twins' Inside Pitch, the Twins move infielder Juan Castro to the Cincinnati Reds for Brandon Roberts, Carlos Silva looks great in his start against the Red Sox, Joe Nathan is finally getting some work in, and much more.

With a glut of infielders after the return of shortstop Jason Bartlett earlier this week, the Twins decided to part ways with Juan Castro.

Castro was sent to the Reds in exchange for Class A outfielder Brandon Roberts.

A longtime utility infielder known for his strong fielding, Castro got his chance to play regularly at short early this season. He did little with the opportunity offensively, compiling a .231 average with one homer and 14 RBIs in 50 games. The numbers matched his norm: He's a .230 career hitter.

But the Twins sought more offense, so they recalled Bartlett from Triple-A Rochester and installed him at short.

Minnesota also parted ways with third baseman Tony Batista this week, but they have Nick Punto, Luis Rodriguez and Terry Tiffee capable of joining Bartlett on the left side of the infield.

Roberts will remain in the Florida State League, moving from the Reds' Sarasota affiliate to the Twins' Fort Myers squad. He was hitting .267 with one homer and 15 RBIs.

REPLAY:
The Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday with some help from the Metrodome.

Boston's David Ortiz hit a mammoth sixth-inning shot that was ticketed to be a home run, but it crashed off a speaker above the playing field and turned into a single. With breaks like that going their way, the Twins posted a 5-3 win.

NOTES, QUOTES:

  • RHP Carlos Silva pitched six shutout innings Thursday, but that stat should carry an asterisk. He allowed a blast to Boston DH David Ortiz that would have been a sixth-inning homer if it hadn't hit a speaker high above the Metrodome field. Silva allowed seven hits and didn't walk a batter. He struck out two.

  • RHP Joe Nathan earned a difficult two-inning save. He entered in the eighth with Minnesota ahead 4-0, but Boston had the bases loaded and no outs. Nathan let in two inherited runs, then gave up one in the ninth before fanning Manny Ramirez to seal the win.

  • LF Jason Kubel homered for the third consecutive day, hitting a solo shot off Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

  • OF Ruben Sierra (strained left biceps) played the second game of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester. He went 1-for-3, driving in a run with a first-inning single and another with a sixth-inning walk.

  • INF Juan Castro was dealt to the Reds in exchange for minor league OF Brandon Roberts. Castro hit .231 with one homer and 14 RBIs in 50 games.

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