LEADING OFF: Kershaw, Dodgers roll, Colon makes Twins debut

LEADING OFF: Kershaw, Dodgers roll, Colon makes Twins debut

Colon signed a minor league deal with the Twins after being released by the Braves, who are on the hook for most of his $12 million contract.

Colon has 235 career victories in the major leagues.

Once the heart of the order came up a second time, though, balls were being hit a lot harder.

"I feel good. The first four innings were good", the 44-year-old Colon said through an interpreter after allowing four runs on eight hits over four innings, in his first big-league start since June 28 with the Braves. Kershaw has never faced the White Sox on the road.

But Joe Girardi, the Yankees manager when Colon put up an 8-10 record with a 4.00 ERA in 2011, said he wasn't surprised the righthander is still going. "His ability to command the baseball was really impressive to me".

Twins fans gave Colon a standing ovation as he walked on and off the field.

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"I liked how he changed speeds on his fastball, and I thought he got in on the guys he was supposed to get in on and back-doored the guys he was supposed to", Molitor said. "It could have turned out better, that's for sure".

"We were trying to give him a chance there", Molitor said.

On the day Michael Pineda had Tommy John surgery, Cessa's performance underscored the need for another pitcher to stabilize the rotation.

Cessa hit Sano with a pitch and walked three in a laborious first inning to quickly fall behind, and he was pulled with two outs in the fourth and a 3-1 deficit. As for Berrios, he lasted just 1.2 innings in his first start after the break, giving up seven runs (two earned) on four hits against Houston.

He's still a circus clown, but this isn't his first rodeo, and as the Strib's Jim Souhan wrote, the Twins could use a veteran personality in the clubhouse, a la Torii Hunter in 2015, the only other season since 2010 the Twins have been in a playoff hunt in July.

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