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Heitkamp, Cramer face off in first debate

Drake, just claimed by Twins, sets MLB record for most teams in single season

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Oliver Drake (32) and catcher Bobby Wilson (46) react after the game against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Target Field. Jeffrey Becker / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS—Oliver Drake barreled into the Twins clubhouse Saturday afternoon, Aug. 4, an iced coffee from Starbucks serving as his lifeblood amid a crazy 24 hours after being claimed off waivers. He handed his suitcase over to a Twins official and spent the next 15 minutes or so introducing himself to his new teammates, something he's become quite good at this season.

"We landed around 2:30-ish," Drake said. "I just came straight here to the ballpark to get ready and meet everyone and get prepared for the game."

A few hours later, Drake exited the bullpen in center field, trotted to the mound and mowed down all three batters he faced as the Twins earned an 8-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. In doing so, the 31-year-old set a major league record, becoming the first player to play for five teams in a single season.

"I don't know if this is something I'll brag about," Drake said with a laugh. "It's definitely cool having all the jerseys. That's going to be something that, looking back, is going to be a cool collection. It'll definitely be a neat story, especially down the line after the baseball career is over."

Yes, someday Drake will tell his kids and grandkids about this season, one that started with the Milwaukee Brewers before stints with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, and now the Twins.

"It's not easy," Drake said, crediting his wife, Shannon, with keeping him level-headed. "She's been the savior of this whole thing. There's been times she's had to pack up apartments, line up car shipping, everything, because we've been bouncing all over the place. She's really made this a lot easier."

As chaotic as things have been, Drake finds solace on the mound, the 60 feet, 6 inches, between him and a batter serving as his personal oasis. He looked in his element Saturday night at Target Field, using his full repertoire of pitches, which includes a cut fastball that sits in the low-90s, a splitter that has become his out pitch and a curveball he taught himself last offseason.

"I'm just trying to get guys out as quickly as I can," Drake said, adding that he's hoping for some stability with the Twins. "I've had so much time just kind of in limbo where I can't do anything. My catch partner for the whole time has been a fence back home. It's just nice to get back out there and playing."

Drake called his scoreless frame a "good first step" as he tries to stick around in the Twin Cities for the rest of this season at least.

"My agent keeps telling me it's always good to be wanted," Drake said. "I keep getting good opportunities, so I'm just going to try take advantage of this."

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