Minnesota can match its longest winning streak from 2012 when it meets visiting Miami in the opener of a split doubleheader Tuesday.
A 5-3 road win against the White Sox on Sunday gave the Twins (8-7) their fourth straight victory, putting them on the verge of equaling their longest run last season from June 30-July 3.
Josh Willingham , who has at least one RBI in each game during the streak, hit a three-run double in Minnesota's four-run seventh inning. Before that, Aaron Hicks - 0 for 19 over his last seven games - had an RBI single to tie the score at 2-all.
"I'd put us up against anybody right now," starter Scott Diamond , who gave up two runs over six innings, told the team's official website. "I think we're playing pretty confidently. As long as we can execute our pitches and continue to work, I think we're going to be better than everybody thinks we are."
Minnesota's pitching has been strong during the four-game run, compiling a 2.19 ERA while allowing 30 hits, eight walks and striking out 36 over 37 innings.
Kevin Correia (1-1, 2.95 ERA) figures to give the staff a good shot to continue that trend in the first game of the doubleheader, as he's gone at least seven innings in all three of his starts while limiting opponents to three earned runs or fewer.
Correia was slated to start Monday night's series opener, which was preemptively postponed due to approaching inclement weather. Four of Minnesota's last eight scheduled games have been wiped out before they began because of weather problems, including three at home.
"It's been frustrating, needless to say," Twins president Dave St. Peter said. "Everything pointed to a really ugly night, one that playing baseball on wasn't really an option, due to the rain, due to the snow, due to the wind, due to the cold. It just doesn't make much sense."
Correia will have to overcome some past struggles against the Marlins, though. He's 3-4 with an 8.01 ERA in eight starts versus Miami.
Facing this Marlins lineup, however, may not prove to be particularly daunting. Miami (4-15) is off to the worst start in franchise history hampered by an abysmal offense, though Giancarlo Stanton finally recorded his first RBI in a 10-6 loss at Cincinnati on Sunday.
"It doesn't give any excuse to my terrible play before that," said Stanton, who was 4 for 18 with eight strikeouts in the four-game series against the Reds and is batting .188. "I can only look forward. I could have hit left-handed and done as well."
Stanton's struggles are far from the only thing weighing down Miami's offense. The Marlins rank near the bottom in baseball in batting average (.212), slugging percentage (.266) and on-base percentage (.271). Their six home runs are the fewest in the majors.
"We haven't hit well enough to overcome those mistakes," said manager Mike Redmond , who played for the Twins from 2005-09. "Hopefully, this gets Stanton something to build on."
Making the start for Miami in the first game will be Ricky Nolasco (0-2, 3.86), who has felt the brunt of the inept offense while getting 1.54 runs of support per nine innings.
Mike Pelfrey (2-1, 7.30) gets the ball in the nightcap for Minnesota, and he's struggled in his career against the Marlins. Pitching for the Mets from 2006-12, the right-hander went 1-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 17 starts versus Miami.
Stanton is 8 for 17 with two home runs against Pelfrey, who beat the Angels 8-6 last Tuesday after allowing four runs and seven hits over five innings.
Rookie Jose Fernandez will make his fourth career start for the Marlins in the second game. Fernandez (0-1, 3.60) is coming off his worst outing thus far, allowing five runs and six hits in four innings of an 11-1 loss at Cincinnati on Thursday.
The 20-year-old right-hander had a 0.82 ERA after his first two starts.
"If this would have happened to me last year, today I would have still been like going crazy about it. Now, it was just a bad day," Fernandez told the Marlins' official website. "I talked to some people, and the next day I was there getting ready to do what I do to prepare for the next game. I'm pretty happy about that."
|April 17, 2013||Adeiny Hechavarria||15-Day DL||Bruised left elbow|
|April 13, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Groin|
|April 12, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder soreness|
|April 04, 2013||Casey Kotchman||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|April 04, 2013||Casey Kotchman||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|March 31, 2013||Alfredo Silverio||60-Day DL||Sprained right elbow|
|April 16, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Back contusion|
|April 16, 2013||Darin Mastroianni||15-Day DL||Stress reaction in left ankle|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 24, 2013||Tim Wood||15-Day DL||Right rotator cuff strain|
|March 22, 2013||Scott Diamond||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A slow start to his first big league season did little to reduce prized prospect Oswaldo Arcia 's confidence.
And when the powerful Venezuelan finally got a hold of one, sending a pitch soaring well past the seats in right field, he couldn't help but stand and admire it before making his first trot around the bases.
Arcia hit his first career home run and Kevin Correia gave up two runs in seven innings, leading the Minnesota Twins over the Miami Marlins 4-3 Tuesday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
Arcia was just 1 for 9 with no homers and no RBIs in his first three games, but an incredulous look crossed his face when he was asked if he was concerned about how things were going before coming through against the Marlins.
"His hitting's going to come," Twins outfielder Wilkin Ramirez said, acting as Arcia's interpreter. "He knows he's a good hitter."
Now Jose Fernandez knows, too.
Arcia's three-run homer in the fourth backed Correia (2-1), who allowed five hits and struck out five. The Twins shrugged off yet another chilly day at Target Field to win their fifth straight. Brian Dozier had three hits, and Glen Perkins earned his sixth save.
"There was a big smile on his face and he was giving some hard high fives," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Arcia, who dominated Triple-A pitching early this season before being called up to help a short-handed Twins outfield.
Fernandez (0-2) gave up four runs and six hits for the Marlins, off to a franchise-worst 4-16 start after an offseason salary purge. Joe Mahoney had two hits and two RBIs for Miami.
"Obviously we need to score more runs," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It's been the same story all season. We're getting enough on the mound."
The teams were supposed to open their series on Monday night, but the latest snowstorm put that one on ice. It was the third home game the Twins have had to postpone because of weather this year - there were just five in the first three seasons of Target Field.
Grounds crew members and ballpark personnel worked through the night to clear the heavy, wet snow from the field, seats and stairways.
The temperature at first pitch was 38 degrees, but the field, which has heater coils underneath it to combat cold temperatures, was lush and green.
Correia needed just 87 pitches to breeze through seven innings for his fourth straight time to open this season. He went at least seven innings just three times all last season for the Pirates.
"I think it's harder to hit in (the cold weather) than pitch in it," Correia said. "It's kind of tough to get a feel on the baseball. I've thrown well in the cold. I wouldn't call myself happy to be out there. I can't wait for the 70-degree weather to come around."
Miami took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a single from Mahoney but Fernandez, initially was scheduled to start the second game, gave it all back in the bottom half.
Chris Parmelee and Trevor Plouffe started the inning with singles and Arcia stood and admired as his homer landed just short of the plaza beyond the right-field seats for a 4-2 lead.
"That's the kind of way you have to answer," Gardenhire said.
Miami had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth after Jared Burton hit Placido Polanco and Giancarlo Stanton with pitches. But the Marlins were only able to get one run across, on a groundout from Greg Dobbs .
Redmond got a nice ovation before the game. Redmond spent five years with the Twins as Joe Mauer 's backup catcher. The gregarious Redmond was a favorite in the clubhouse and is etched in Twins lore for his penchant for stripping down and walking around the clubhouse naked when things weren't going well, his way of trying to insert levity.
"He just knows a lot about the game," Mauer said. "And the way he related to younger players, especially myself, you kind of knew that he'd be really good at being a manager later on. It's really exciting for me to see him over there, and it should be fun."
NOTES: Stanton went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .176. He was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning, but remained in the game. ... The run Burton allowed in the eighth was his first in nine appearances this year. ... The Twins were sending RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-1, 7.30 ERA) to the mound for Game 2 to face Miami RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-2, 3.86).