The Minnesota Twins will continue their team reset when they face the host St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday in the rubber match of their three-game series.
The Cardinals won 5-1 in the series opener on Friday. The Twins responded with an 8-1 victory the following night.
Minnesota acquired a pileof prospects while swapping pitchers Jose Berrios, J.A. Happ and Hansel Robles shortly before Friday's deadline. Before this frenzy, the Twins traded designated hitter Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of their overhaul.
"We're going to be busy on the field," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We're going to working and figuring things out and teaching and talking about the game, sometimes from a rudimentary level."
Pitcher Michael Pineda and third baseman Josh Donaldson were the subject of trade rumors, but they stayed put.
"We're not laying down because you're going to get some excitement from guys coming in right now and trying to prove themselves," said Donaldson, who could return to the lineup after missing two games with hamstring tightness.
"That's fun to be a part of and helping guys grow. Hopefully, this leads to more success to come in the future."
The Twins will start Pineda (4-5, 3.86 ERA), a right-hander who is also coming off two good outings. He helped the Twins win a pair of games after holding the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers to three total runs on nine hits in 11 innings.
Pineda expressed a strong desire to remain as the trade deadline neared.
"I love the organization," he said. "They did a lot of good things for me. I feel like this is my house, and I want to stay here. Everybody respects me, and I respect everybody. We have really good communication with everybody."
Pineda won his only start against the Cardinals while allowing two runs in seven innings. Paul Goldschmidt (2-for-2, RBI) and Yadier Molina (1-for-3, homer) fared well against him in a small sample size.
While the Twins are preparing for next season, the Cardinals are trying to salvage this one. They fell back to .500 at 52-52 and are 9 1/2 games back of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
"A lot of guys in this locker room have been in this situation where you have to make up games," Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader said. "You have to bear down. There is not a better clubhouse that's more geared to having to bear down and win games. Got a big game tomorrow, looking forward to it."
Right-hander Adam Wainwright (8-6, 3.51) will get the start for the Cardinals coming off back-to-back strong starts against the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, respectively.
He held those teams to three runs on 10 hits in 14 innings. Wainwright struck out 13 and walked only two as the Cardinals won both games.
Wainwright lost his only other start against the Twins despite allowing just two earned runs in seven innings. He gained the upper hand on Twins hitters Andrelton Simmons (0-for-10) and Donaldson (1-for-5) when they played for other teams.
The Twins activated Luis Arraez from the 10-day injured list Saturday and started him in Donaldson's spot. Gilberto Celestino returned to Triple-A St. Paul.
--Field Level Media