Updated: April 15th, 2010 5:21pm
3 straight series wins? Twins look like they could be special

3 straight series wins? Twins look like they could be special

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by Tom Pelissero
MINNEAPOLIS -- Orlando Hudson said it three times, and maybe that's supposed to make it true -- that it's "way too early, way too early, way too early" to deduce anything from the Minnesota Twins' early-season success.

"Y'all can read into it," the veteran second baseman added, "but I'm not."

Let's take the first half of that sentence and run with it.

Because after Thursday's 8-0 rout of the Boston Red Sox, even a hardened sports cynic has to have an inkling this Twins team might be more than another one-and-done wonder come October.

They hadn't won a series against Boston since May 2008. They hadn't won their first three series of the season since 1987 -- the end of that story is well-documented -- and they haven't built their 7-3 record against the American League's second division.

The Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox and Boston all have won championships in the past eight years, boast nine-figure payrolls and are expected to at least be in the playoff hunt this summer.

"That's not easy to do," said light-hitting third baseman Nick Punto, whose 3-for-4 performance on Thursday was indicative of the balance the Twins have found in their lineup so far.

"We're playing good baseball. We're not making any errors, we're pitching well and we're getting timely hitting. That's a recipe for winning."

Translation: When your biggest issues 10 games into the season are Kevin Slowey shaking off too many signs and Jose Mijares clowning it up in relief, you're in pretty good shape.

"They're some very good teams that we've played up to this point, and we've played good baseball against them," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That kind of tells you where you're at -- that you can play with everybody. It's tough, but you have to play them sometime or another, and I'm sure other teams feel the same way about us."

Just look at how overmatched the Red Sox appeared in Thursday's series finale, committing three errors and generally functioning like a team with one foot on the plane out of town. The Twins haven't had one of those days yet, and under Gardenhire, they seldom do.

Even Mijares couldn't breathe life into the visitors on Thursday. Two singles, a walk to load the bases and a 3-2 fastball off the plate? It only meant Mijares got to fall ass-backwards into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play before Ron Mahay worked a quick ninth to close out a win for stellar Francisco Liriano.

Punto's right. The Twins are hitting, they're pitching, they're fielding and -- perhaps most important at this juncture -- they're healthy.

"We like the way we're playing right now," right fielder Michael Cuddyer said. "We've got the sustain it, though. You can't by any means rest on 10 games."

No, but you can sure read a lot into three butt-whippings in three cities to start it off.

The read here is the Twins are on their way to something special.

Whether Hudson is ready to agree or not.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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