It was their first season in their new stadium, Target Field, which made its regular-season debut on April 12 as the Twins defeated the Boston Red Sox 5–2. This marked the return of outdoor professional baseball to the state of Minnesota for the first time since the end of the 1981 season, the last played at Metropolitan Stadium. 3,223,640 fans attended Twins games, setting a new franchise record.
The Twins clinched their sixth AL Central division championship in nine seasons on September 21 after a win against the Cleveland Indians and a Chicago White Sox loss. They were again swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series to end the season.
|2010 Minnesota Twins|
|AL Central Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Bill Smith|
|Local television||Fox Sports North|
WFTC (My 29)
(Dick Bremer, Bert Blyleven)
|Local radio||1500 AM ESPN Radio Twin Cities (KSTP-AM)|
(John Gordon, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris, Kris Atteberry)
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The Twins altered their uniforms for the 2010 season. Their new home outfits as well as their alternate uniforms feature a redesigned primary wordmark that was shown for the first time as a sign was hoisted into place atop the scoreboard at Target Field in May 2009. The team's colors remained unchanged (Red, navy and white) but the nameplate that had been in use since the 1980s on the uniforms was eliminated. The new road uniforms discards the navy pinstripes for a gray uniform with a script "Minnesota" on the front in navy with red and white trim. The franchise also wore a 1961 throwback uniform as part of the team's 50th season on Opening Day and all Saturday dates. The team donned a special Inaugural Season patch for Target Field on all home uniforms, and a Golden Anniversary season patch on their road outfits.
Before spring training, the Twins parted ways with 2009 trade deadline acquisition Orlando Cabrera, who would go on to sign a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Also leaving the team was backup catcher Mike Redmond. With Cabrera leaving, there were questions about the Twins infield. General Manager Bill Smith addressed these questions by trading center fielder Carlos Gómez to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop J. J. Hardy, and signing free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson. Smith also added some power to the bench by acquiring free agent and former White Sox and Indians designated hitter Jim Thome. With regular closer Joe Nathan out for the season after elbow surgery, Gardenhire named Jon Rauch the closer to begin the season. Later, the Twins traded catcher Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa to the Washington Nationals to acquire Matt Capps to bolster the bullpen. Other pitching changes included the late additions of Brian Fuentes and Randy Flores.
On March 22, catcher Joe Mauer signed a contract extension for eight years. The $184 million contract, paying him $23 million each year, is the richest ever for the Twins, and the fourth largest in major league history.
Finally, the Twins win a stadium opener at home. They'd lost the Home Openers at Metropolitan Stadium (April 21, 1961) and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (April 6, 1982). At Target Field on April 12 this year, DH Jason Kubel drove in two runs and hit the stadium's first home run in a 5-2 win over Boston.
On April 28, third baseman Luke Hughes hit a home run in his first-ever major league at bat, joining four other Twins who've accomplished the feat: Rick Renick (1968), Dave McKay (1975), Gary Gaetti (1981) and Andre David (1984). They were joined by Eddie Rosario in 2015.
Kevin Slowey's win on September 12 was the club's 4,000th win, dating back to win no. 1 on April 11, 1961.
Ron Gardenhire was named American League Manager of the Year; he'd been the runner-up five times. Pitcher Francisco Liriano, who'd missed all of 2007 following Tommy John surgery, saw limited action in 2008 and 2009 due to injuries. In 2010, he threw the second-most innings of any pitcher for the Twins, led the team in ERA, and allowed the fewest home runs per nine innings of any pitcher in the AL (0.4). He was voted the American League's Comeback Player of the Year. (He'll win it a second time, as a 2013 Pittsburgh Pirate He's the first player to win it twice and the only one to win it in both leagues.)
|Chicago White Sox||88||74||0.543||6||45–36||43–38|
|Kansas City Royals||67||95||0.414||27||38–43||29–52|
|2010 Minnesota Twins|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; HR = Home runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
The Twins were swept in three games by the New York Yankees in the Division Series.
|WP: CC Sabathia (1–0) LP: Jesse Crain (0–1) Sv: Mariano Rivera (1)|
NYY: Mark Teixeira (1)
MIN: Michael Cuddyer (1)
|WP: Andy Pettitte (1–0) LP: Carl Pavano (0–1) Sv: Mariano Rivera (2)|
NYY: Lance Berkman (1)
MIN: Orlando Hudson (1)
|WP: Phil Hughes (1–0) LP: Brian Duensing (0–1)|
NYY: Marcus Thames (1), Nick Swisher (1)
|AAA||Rochester Red Wings||International League||Tom Nieto|
|AA||New Britain Rock Cats||Eastern League||Jeff Smith|
|A||Fort Myers Miracle||Florida State League||Jake Mauer|
|A||Beloit Snappers||Midwest League||Nelson Prada|
|Rookie||Elizabethton Twins||Appalachian League||Ray Smith|
|Rookie||GCL Twins||Gulf Coast League||Chris Heintz and Ramon Borrego|
|2010 Game Log|
2010 MLB season by team
|Culture and lore|
|Division titles (10)|
|Wild Card titles (1)|
|Minor league affiliates|