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Twins eager to return home, open against Athletics

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm •  Published: April 6, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Games have already been played for a week all across the majors.

The Minnesota Twins, after averaging 97 losses over the past three seasons, could be in for another tough year.

Target Field is no longer a novelty, with the gates set to open for a fifth season. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire already secured his 1,000th career victory, crossing another potential item of intrigue off the list with a win at Cleveland on Saturday.

Don't discount the draw of opening day, though. That first pitch at the home ballpark is always special, a rite of spring enhanced by the weather to match it.

The forecast for Monday in Minneapolis is a high of 57 degrees, a downright tropical temperature for Twins fans coming off a historically cold winter and a 10-inch dump of snow on Target Field over Thursday and Friday.

"In front of our fans at home is always the coolest, when you stand out on that line," Gardenhire said.

Particularly for a player such as backup first baseman and designated hitter Chris Colabello, who will experience his first home opener on Monday when the Twins host Oakland. The 30-year-old Colabello made his major league debut last May.

"Seeing him introduced in the starting lineup, that's pretty cool. That's a good moment," Gardenhire said.

Colabello will surely soak it in as much as anyone.

"I think any day on a big league field is pretty awesome. I'm just trying to take every day in stride and appreciate every moment," he said.

The Twins, who will send right-hander Kevin Correia to the mound to face Athletics lefty Scott Kazmir, have been overeager to settle in after six weeks of spring training in Florida and another seven days on the road to start the season.

"Seems like we've been gone a long, long time. It will be refreshing to get home, get in front of our fans, in our ballpark. That's going to be kind of cool," Gardenhire said.

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