In this edition of Twins Inside Pitch, Brad Radke calls this recent surge the "Best I've seen," Rondell White might miss the disabled list, Jason Bartlett's hit streak ends, Justin Morneau continues to drive in runs, and much more.
, the longest tenured Twin, said of the three-week run the Twins are on: "Best I've seen."
That's best as in tops in his almost 12 years with the Twins.
So what has it all meant for the suddenly balanced, hot-hitting, hot-pitching Twins?
Almost nothing. Although they've won 12 of 13 and 14 of 16 games, the Twins have made up exactly a half-game on the first-place Detroit Tigers in the American League Central standings since the 16-game run began on June 8. And second-place Chicago has kept up the same pace.
"Why do you want to bring up the negatives?" manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We can't do anything about those guys. They're playing great. We've gotten back to playing good baseball, and if we keep doing that, we're going to find a way to make up some games. We hope."
Mike Redmond has seen something like this before -- when his 2003 Florida Marlins made a similar run and kept it up through a successful pennant run and World Series championship over the New York Yankees.
"When you get your guys playing with confidence and playing like this," he said, "it's fun to come to the ballpark every day."
"If we keep playing like we're playing, we've got both of them 10 times, 11 times, each, and it'll take care of itself."
The Twins have 10 games left against Detroit (2-7 so far) and 12 against the White Sox (2-5).
Brad Radke (6-7) pitched seven shutout innings in his best start of the year, and the Twins took advantage of sloppy play by the Chicago Cubs that included three errors to beat the Cubs 8-1 Sunday and sweep the three-game series.
The Twins' third sweep in four series (also Boston and Pittsburgh) gave them 12 victories in 13 games and 14 in 16. Torii Hunter and Luis Rodriguez added home runs in the victory Sunday.
NOTES, QUOTES:DH Rondell White, who was back in Minnesota Sunday after having a MRI and a cortisone shot in Cincinnati Saturday, said he hopes extra stretching and exercises for his stiff left shoulder will loosen him enough to start swinging better than his .182 performance so far this year. The MRI was clear on the shoulder White had surgically repaired last year following the second shoulder separation of his career. The Twins don't feel that visiting the disabled list is required. White is expected to be ready to test the shoulder again in game situations by Tuesday.Big-league pitching brothers LHP Scott Eyre of the Cubs and RHP Willie Eyre of the Twins each pitched during their teams' only series of the year but came up short of their goal of pitching in the same game. With their mother, Peggy, in attendance after traveling from her home in Utah, Scott pitched Saturday, and Willie, a rookie, pitched the ninth inning of Sunday's game. They are one of 77 sets of brothers to pitch in the majors and would have been the first set to pitch in the same game since Andy and Alan Benes in 2002.SS Jason Bartlett's hitting streak was stopped at 10 when he went 0-for-4 Sunday, just missing an infield single when he grounded to third in his final at-bat and was thrown out by a half-step. He had hit safely in every game since his recall from Triple-A Rochester until then, going 14-for-34 (.412) over the 10 games.1B Justin Morneau, who's tied for second in the league in RBIs, got No. 62 Sunday on a gift single that bounded between the first baseman and second baseman when each pulled up to allow the other to field it. It gave the hot-hitting Morneau hits in 15 of 16 games. He's 27-for-64 (.422) in that stretch with eight homers and 24 RBIs.DH Ruben Sierra was in the lineup for the first time since April and delivered his first two-hit game of the season.RHP Brad Radke (6-7, 5.40 ERA) is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA in his past six starts, turning around the worst six-week start to a season in his career.
BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -- Games the Twins made up on division-leading Detroit during their 10-1 stretch from June 8-20, which included an eight-game winning streak.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everybody thinks this is the Roger Clemens show. But it's going to be the Francisco Liriano show, you watch." -- C Mike Redmond, to a writer before Twins rookie LHP Francisco Liriano beat Houston RHP Roger Clemens in Clemens' celebrated season debut.