MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins were a part of outdoor baseball history during the first game of their doubleheader Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays, playing the coldest game in the history of professional outdoor baseball in Minnesota.
According to unofficial press box historian Stew Thornley, the 31-degree first pitch was one colder than the previous low of 32 degrees on May 2, 1967 at Metropolitan Stadium. The coldest first-pitch at Target Field before Thursday was 34 degrees, set last April 12 against the New York Mets.
The second game of the series Wednesday was postponed due to rain and snow that fell in the Twin Cities. The Twins sent out a team-wide memo asking for help clearing snow from the seating areas and the cold temperatures were not ideal for one game, much less a doubleheader. But with this being the only trip to Minnesota for the Blue Jays this season, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said there wasn't much thought about whether to play Wednesday's game as part of a day/night doubleheader.
"We discussed it, but neither team really wanted to do it. It's tough travel-wise," Antony said. "It didn't make a lot of sense when you take both teams into consideration."
Antony said there were several dates later in the summer where both teams had off days, but for one reason or another, they wouldn't have worked out. The Twins also looked at their schedule over the next week and decided playing two on Thursday was the best decision.
"You can look at it and say, 'Well at this date, we'd probably get more fans,' but you have to take everything into consideration," Antony said. "This actually works out well for us because we can pitch both our guys, we go to Kansas City, play three, have the off day and everybody stays right on schedule."
The Twins ended up sweeping Thursday's doubleheader, defeating the Blue Jays 7-0 in the first game and 9-5 in the second.
STREAK: Won two
NEXT: Twins (RHP Ricky Nolasco, 1-1, 5.50 ERA) at Royals (RHP Jason Vargas, 1-0, 1.64 ERA)
--INF Eduardo Nunez was called up as the 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader Thursday, starting at third base and batting seventh. Nunez was acquired in a trade from the New York Yankees on April 7. Nunez is expected to be sent back to Triple-A Rochester, where he is 7-for-22 with a home run and three RBIs with the Red Wings.
--RHP Kyle Gibson's eight scoreless innings in game one of the doubleheader Thursday were a career high. He improved to 3-0 this season, becoming the first Twins starter to make the Opening Day roster and win his first three starts since 2008 (Livan Hernandez).
--1B Chris Colabello doubled once in the first game of the doubleheader and two more times in the nightcap, giving him nine two-baggers this season, most in MLB. Colabello had five hits in two games Thursday and finished the three-game series against Toronto 8-for-12 with four doubles and five RBIs.
--2B Brian Dozier led off the first inning with his fifth home run of the season. The leadoff shot was the sixth of his career and third this season. His six leadoff homers are tied for fifth on the Twins' all-time list with Zoilo Versalles.
--CF Aaron Hicks singled to center in his first at-bat Thursday night. He has now reached base safely in eight of his last nine games and in 11 of 15 games this season.
--UT Jason Bartlett (sprained left ankle) began a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Fort Myers April 17.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a lot of fun in the dugout, because everybody was into it. I don't know if you guys (assembled media) have seen it. Maybe in some other league, but I've never seen that before. That ball was flying everywhere." -- Manager Ron Gardenhire, after a wild eighth inning Thursday night where Twins scored six runs on eight walks, three wild pitches and one hit.
--UT Jason Bartlett (sprained left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 7. He ran the bases April 11 and played in an extended spring training game April 15 in Fort Myers, Fla. He began a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Fort Myers April 17.
--OF Josh Willingham (left wrist contusion) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7.
--OF Oswaldo Arcia (sore right wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 5. He took batting practice prior to the game April 9 but reported little progress in his recovery. He was about the same as of April 13. He received a cortisone shot April 15.
RHP Ricky Nolasco
RHP Kevin Correia
RHP Phil Hughes
RHP Mike Pelfrey
RHP Kyle Gibson
LHP Glen Perkins (closer)
LHP Caleb Thielbar
RHP Anthony Swarzak
LHP Brian Duensing
RHP Casey Fien
RHP Jared Burton
RHP Sam Deduno
RHP Michael Tonkin
1B Joe Mauer
2B Brian Dozier
SS Pedro Florimon
3B Trevor Plouffe
INF/OF Chris Colabello
INF/OF Eduardo Escobar
LF Jason Kubel
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Chris Herrmann
OF Darin Mastroianni
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