4/17/2014 6:02 P.M. ET
Twins-Jays starts in record-breaking cold
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The first game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays saw the coldest first-pitch temperature in the history of outdoor baseball in Minnesota with a game-time temperature of 31 degrees.
The previous record was 32 degrees, and was set on May 2, 1967, when the Twins hosted the Yankees at Metropolitan Stadium. And the previous record at Target Field was 34 degrees, set last season on April 12 against the Mets.
The Twins played at Metropolitan Stadium from 1961-1981 before moving indoors to the Metrodome, where they played until Target Field opened in 2010.
Despite the cold and the snow that hit the Twin Cities on Wednesday, Game 1 of the doubleheader began on time. A memo was sent out to Twins employees in the morning to ask them to help clear snow off the field before the game to help make sure the game started at 12:10 p.m. CT.
But the Twins opted to close the terrace level of Target Field for the first game because of the cold.
Nunez recalled to be 26th man for Game 2
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins recalled infielder Eduardo Nunez from Triple-A Rochester before Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader as the club's 26th man on the roster.
Under a new rule this year, if a doubleheader is scheduled the day after a postponed game, both clubs can call up a 26th player, but that player is only eligible for the second game. If the doubleheader is scheduled more than a day later than the postponed game, the 26th player is eligible to play in both games.
The Twins decided to go with Nunez, as they already have 13 pitchers on their roster and wanted a position player. Nunez was thrown right into the fire, starting at third base and batting seventh against the Blue Jays.
He was originally acquired from the Yankees for left-hander Miguel Sulbaran on April 7, and he has played in six games at Rochester, hitting .318 with a homer, a stolen base and three RBIs before being called up.
"He's been swinging good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The weather has not been good over there, but he's been swinging good. He's been playing a little bit of third and shortstop. I think his problem is he hasn't been out on the field much, because he was out for about 10 days when we got him and just hasn't had any consistent time out there."
Nunez admitted it was a little strange entering the home clubhouse at Target Field for the first time after spending parts of four seasons with the Yankees.
"It's a little weird," Nunez said. "It's something new to me. I've never been on a new team before. But I'm glad I have a couple friends here, so I feel comfortable."
Nunez, 26, added that he is heading back to Rochester on Friday, but he hopes to be recalled again soon. The Twins still want him to get consistent playing time in Triple-A and work on his defense before he's called up again.
"I just want to do what I can do and play hard," Nunez said. "I want to do the same things I did with the Yankees. Play hard, bunt, steal a base. Just do my best."
Gardy pleased with Twins' patience at plate
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have shown plenty of patience at the plate this year, as evidenced by the fact that they entered Thursday's doubleheader ranked second in the Majors in walks with 65.
It's led to an impressive .340 team on-base percentage, and it's leading directly to runs, as the Twins are averaging 5.4 runs per game in the early going this season. The Twins also lead the Majors in pitches per plate appearance with 4.16.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's pleased with the way his players are working counts and having better at-bats than last season.
"I was a little worried early when he were striking out a lot, and we still have some guys who will strike out, but the at-bats have been better," Gardenhire said. "I like the way it's going and the way we're swinging. For the most part, we're swinging pretty decent."
Bartlett begins rehab assignment at Fort Myers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Utility man Jason Bartlett, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left foot, officially began his rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Thursday.
Bartlett, who sprained his ankle sliding into home on April 6 and was placed on the DL the next day, had already been playing in extended spring games before joining Fort Myers on Thursday.
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said the Twins haven't determined how many games Bartlett will play before being activated from the DL. But he also noted that Bartlett is expected to also see time at Triple-A Rochester as part of his rehab assignment.
"I think he needs at-bats," Antony said. "We'll play it by ear. We have 20 days, but I'm not sure if we'll use them all or not. But he feels good and feels healthy, and is ready to play in games with the Miracle. We'd also like to get him to Rochester at some point."