Baker shining on the hill in second half
Starter has compiled 4-1 record since All-Star break
ARLINGTON -- The wins have started to come with more regularity for starter Scott Baker since the start of the second half. In seven starts since the All-Star break, Baker is 4-1.Despite the fact that Baker was getting more wins, there were still some signs of inconsistency in a few of his starts. But it was Baker's last start against the Angels that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire found very encouraging based on the way that Baker was in command of both his stuff and the pace of the game. Baker pitched seven scoreless innings against the Angels, scattering five hits while walking two and striking out four. "He was ahead in the count," Gardenhire said. "He pitched effectively out of the zone too. That's where he pitches the best is when he's able to get ahead and get guys to chase with that fastball up and breaking balls out. He's more effective out of the zone than in the zone." Baker has also had issues at times throughout this career with the pace of the game and Gardenhire said he hopes that Baker can continue to keep things moving in his starts, like he has done in some of his recent successful outings. "When he scuffles, he starts walking around the back of the mound and we get too long," Gardenhire said. "It's all about command and keeping the pace of the game going."
Flores ready for new start with Twins
ARLINGTON -- Randy Flores has not pitched in a game since Aug. 17, a few days before he was designated for assignment by the Rockies. But although Flores didn't know where his job might take him next, he made sure that he was ready to pitch whenever that time came.Flores, 35, said that he stayed in Denver after he was designated on Friday and he threw a couple of times at Coors Field during the week. When he wasn't able to go to the field or find anyone to play catch with him, he headed to a Safeway grocery store near his home to throw against the loading docks. "I got stopped by a security guard," Flores said with a laugh. "He let me finish after a few more throws before he kicked me out." Flores wasn't sure where he might be headed after he was designated by the Rockies, but he was certainly glad to learn the news on Wednesday that the Twins had claimed him and he was headed to pitch for a team in a pennant race. After arriving in Texas late on Wednesday night, he was available out of the 'pen for the Twins in their series finale against the Rangers. "It was a bit of a whirlwind," Flores said. "I found out yesterday afternoon and was on a plane last night. Any time you are coming into a situation like this you do not take it for granted." Flores has a history of pitching in a left-handed specialist role, and he also has experience pitching in pennant races as well. He was a member of the 2006 Cardinals team that won the World Series. Asked if that experience will help him now that he's with the Twins as they chase another American League Central title, Flores said he hopes that is the case. "It's not overhyped, there is nothing better than the playoffs," Flores said. "There is nothing better than winning it all. I consider myself very thankful to pitch in postseason chases and postseasons and hope to draw on that experience this next month." In his eight-year career, Flores is 11-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 339 games, including three starts. The majority of that experience has come in the National League. Flores' only stint in the AL occurred with the Rangers back in 2002. With Glen Perkins being the only other left-hander in the Twins bullpen, Flores should get plenty of opportunities to pitch. He is having one of the better seasons of his career, going 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 47 games for Colorado this season.
"This game tends to surprise you sometimes," Flores said. "I'm just really appreciative of being in this locker room."
Mahay to have surgery on right shoulder
ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Ron Mahay will have surgery to repair the tear in the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.Angels team orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform Mahay's surgery. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that a date has not been set for the surgery. The Twins transferred Mahay to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, effectively ensuring that his season was over, to make room for left-hander Randy Flores on the 40-man roster.
Twins prospect out for rest of season
ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Kyle Gibson's Minor League season has appeared to come to an end.Gibson, the Twins' first-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, was placed on the disabled list at Triple-A Rochester on Thursday with a sprained ankle. But the move isn't hampering Gibson's progress as he was close to being shut down for the year anyway. The right-hander had thrown a total of 152 innings this year. Twins Minor League director Jim Rantz said earlier this month that the Twins planned to cap Gibson's workload somewhere between 150-160 innings. The year was certainly a success for Gibson, as he moved up three levels in what was his first professional season. Gibson did not pitch at all in the Minors in 2009 after he was drafted due to a stress fracture in his right forearm. "This was a fast track for him," Rantz said. "I don't recall that happening much in the past." Injuries within the Twins system and other callups did play a role in Gibson getting a chance to pitch at Rochester. He got the call to move up since he was the guy who was pitching well and ready when a spot opened up in the Red Wings' rotation. Gibson was 0-0 with a 1.72 ERA in three starts for the Red Wings. In three combined stops between Rochester, Double-A New Britain and Class A Fort Myers, Gibson went 11-6 with a 2.96 ERA.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.