Notes: Twins struggling on offense
Club mustered three runs in three games vs. Rangers
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins managed to win their weekend series against the Rangers, taking two of three, a feat that's not that impressive considering Texas came into the series 14 games under .500.
But the series win came in spite of the Twins managing to score only three runs over the three-game set, a problem that has plagued them all season.
"Guys go in streaks. For our team, we rely on a lot of momentum and when one guy gets going, it usually sparks another one," Mike Redmond said. "For whatever reason, this year we've had a little trouble getting that spark and getting it going. You see spurts of it."
In their last eight home games, the Twins have scored just 12 runs, but have managed to keep their record at an even 4-4. In the month of August, the Twins have scored more than three runs in a game just three times and they are 7-10 in that span.
Redmond said it's possible that spark could have come in the form of Sunday's 1-0 win, but it needs to come soon if the Twins want to stay competitive in the postseason race.
"We're just trying to win ballgames, and we realize we're close. We've just got to go out and get this thing going and get some wins," Redmond said. "If we just keep going out there and grinding it out, hopefully we can get this thing going and get some consecutive wins together against good teams."
Manager Ron Gardenhire has changed his lineup around several times to try to spark the lineup and has used Joe Mauer as the designated hitter when he's not catching.
"We just have to go about our business. We have to keep working and keep doing our normal thing. The thing you have to do as a coach is you have to stay consistent, not getting too high or too low," Gardenhire said. "That's what we preach to them about. So we have to take it upon ourselves to be positive throughout the whole thing, no matter what. We get frustrated too. They see us frustrated and that's not good. It happens, it's human nature. We get frustrated too and we have to do as best we can under control."
With the Mariners in town, Mauer will probably get as many at-bats as possible. He's batting .471 with four doubles, four RBIs and eight walks against Seattle this season and has a career .459 average against the Mariners.
As key components of the Twins offense, Mauer is currently stuck in an 0-for-16 streak and Justin Morneau has gone a career-long 24 games without a home run. Morneau only has one RBI in the month of August and has a .200 average on the month.
The morning after: The clubhouse was still buzzing on Monday about ace Johan Santana's record-breaking performance on Sunday.
Santana set a club record, fanning 17 Rangers in a 1-0 win. He allowed only two hits in his eight-inning performance. He relied almost exclusively on his fastball and changeup.
"His fastball and changeup were so good. His fastball was in and out and jumping so much," Gardenhire said. "His changeup was as good as I've ever seen it. He had command of two pitches and really didn't need the other one that much. It's pretty amazing to go on just constantly two pitches."
Gardenhire also praised Redmond, Sunday's catcher, for calling the game.
"We all know Johan has great stuff, but he also had an incredible catcher who called a super baseball game," Gardenhire said. "He kept them off balance. Just a fantastic job of running the ballgame for Johan."
About the only person who wasn't still talking about the performance, was the performer himself. Santana said he felt fine and even headed out to a spinning class Monday morning with fellow starters Carlos Silva and Boof Bonser.
The Twins honored Santana with a video presentation before Monday's game and he came out and took a curtain call in front of the cheering crowd.
"It's always fun when you do something special like that, but at the same time, I still have to work," Santana said. "It's not like it's over. For every good game that you have you've got to continue working."
Healing nicely: The Twins may get two much needed infielders back in time for Thursday's road trip to Baltimore. Both Jason Bartlett and Brian Buscher are making strides and Gardenhire expects them both back soon.
Rehabbing third baseman Buscher went 1-for-4 with an RBI for Triple-A Rochester on Sunday. In three games since going on the disabled list with an infection in his leg, Buscher is 4-for-9 with a home run and two RBIs.
Buscher will likely be activated after Wednesday's game when he is eligible to come off the DL and provide some much needed options for Gardenhire to use in the infield.
Bartlett has been out since he left Wednesday's game in Seattle with a strained left hamstring, but he came to the Metrodome Monday morning reporting that he felt good.
Bartlett participated in agility drills before Monday's game and Gardenhire said it's possible that he could be back as soon as Tuesday, but that Thursday was probable.
"He's feeling really good and we could look toward Wednesday, but more likely Thursday," Gardenhire said.
Down on the farm: Triple-A Rochester scored two runs in the ninth to pull ahead of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, but Bobby Korecky blew his seventh save of the season to hand the Red Wings a 5-4 loss. Recently acquired Matt Macri hit a two-run home run for his first career Triple-A home run. ... Double-A New Britain held off a late surge by Portland to pull out a 4-3 win on Sunday. Matt Moses and Brandon Roberts both went 3-for-5 and Trevor Plouffe and David Winfree both drove in two runs. Starter Ryan Mullins pitched seven innings and gave up just one earned run on three hits for his second win. ... Fort Myers pounded Lakeland on Sunday for an 11-4 win. Juan Portes went 2-for-5 with a walk, a double and two home runs and racked up five RBIs. It was Portes' first career multi-home run game and the second time this season he has driven in five runs.
Up next: The Twins continue their series with the Mariners on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT, sending Scott Baker (6-5, 4.53) to the mound. The Twins will face off against lefty Jarrod Washburn (8-10, 4.16).
Leslie Parker is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.