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) -- The warm memories washed over Mike Redmond upon his return to Minnesota, where he spent five seasons as a beloved backup catcher and clubhouse cutup.
And in the second game of a day-night double-header, the Miami Marlins finally gave their first-year manager something to feel good about while wearing a different "M" on his hat.
Rob Brantly had three hits and a career-high four RBIs and the Marlins' offense broke out of a season-long funk to beat the Minnesota Twins 8-5 on Tuesday night and earn a split in the day-night doubleheader.
"I'm not going to lie," Redmond said. "That was fun."
Brantly had two doubles and Ricky Nolasco (1-2) allowed two earned runs on six hits in five innings for the Marlins, who won for just the fifth time this season. Miami had a season-high 16 hits, including a double, a single and two RBIs from struggling slugger Giancarlo Stanton . Steve Cishek got his second save.
"We haven't had a game like this yet," said Stanton, who entered the game with just one RBI for the season. "It was good that we overcame the weather, too, to wake up the bats a little bit."
Joe Mauer had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who beat the Marlins 4-3 in the opener. Mike Pelfrey (2-2) had another rough outing, giving up five runs on nine hits in 4 2-3 innings, and the Twins lost for the first time in six games.
The Marlins entered the night cap with the worst offense in the majors, last in most statistical categories including batting average (.211), runs scored (46) home runs (six), RBIs (44) and on-base percentage (.270).
But they scored three runs in the first inning on a chilly night, then overcame several mistakes to hold off the Twins. Brantly had a two-run double in the first, an RBI-double in the fifth and a run-scoring single in the sixth. Justin Ruggiano and Chris Valaika also drove in runs and Stanton made it 8-4 with a hard-hit single in the eighth for just his third RBI this season.
First-year manager Mike Redmond , who spent five years as a backup catcher for the Twins, watched his young team let a popup fall between their shortstop and leftfielder, give up a three-run inning to the Twins in the third thanks to a wild pitch, a passed ball and a questionable call by first base umpire D.J. Reyburn. Brantly was thrown out at third base on a late tag-up to end the seventh inning.
And they still won.
"We keep fighting and keep battling, and we knew that we'd eventually get it going and score some runs," Redmond said. "Up and down the line the bats were great. It's been a battle for some of the guys to get going. It was nice to see some guys get some hits, for their confidence, for the team's confidence."
Eduardo Escobar had three hits, including a triple, for the Twins, who got a homer from Oswaldo Arcia and seven strong innings from Kevin Correia to take Game 1.
Jose Fernandez (0-2) gave up four runs and six hits for the Marlins.
The teams were supposed to open their series 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 for Game 1 and a balmy 42 for Game 2, but the field, which has heater coils underneath it to combat cold temperatures, was lush and green.
Redmond got a nice ovation before the opener. 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: The run Twins RHP Jared Burton allowed in the eighth inning of Game 1 was his first in nine appearances this year. ... Both teams are off on Wednesday. The Twins open a weekend series with Texas on Thursday, and RHP Vance Worley (0-2, 7.11) will start the opener. Miami heads home to face the Chicago Cubs . Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (0-2, 1.90) will start on Thursday against RHP Edwin Jackson (0-3, 4.84).