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Play ball! Twins home opener to bring sellout crowd to Target Field

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The Minnesota Twins are no doubt hoping for some good home cooking when they play their first game of the season at Target Field Monday afternoon. They're only 1-5 on the road over the first week of the season, after losing a weekend series against the White Sox, two games to one.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he's looking forward to playing at home, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"It's the first time I've had the opportunity to be in this role in my hometown and my home ballpark," Molitor said. "It will be an emotional day, but it will be a good day."

Trevor May will be the starter for the Twins. He was called up from Triple-A Rochester late last week to replace Ricky Nolasco in the starting rotation. Nolasco was put on the disabled list after an MRI revealed inflammation in his right elbow.

Twins fans are still excited to see their favorite team, at least for the first day of the season; Monday's home opener against division rival Kansas City is sold out, with a capacity crowd of 39,000+ fans expected to be there. Game time is 3:10 p.m.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, it's the first sellout at Target Field in a very long time. The last one came Aug. 3, 2013 against the Houston Astros.

Opening Day last year was not a sellout - more than 35,000 people attended the game, which was an 8-3 loss to the Oakland A's. The last time the Twins won a home opener was in 2011.

It's going to be a pretty nice day at the ballpark. The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 60s, a bit cooler than the weekend.

But it'll be another breezy day, with winds out of the west at 20-25 mph by Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Here's a look at some of the pregame activities:

- Breakfast on the plaza: From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., fans are invited to drive down 7th Street (adjacent to the Twins Majestic Clubhouse Store) and get a free ballpark breakfast. Free food and beverages will also be available to bikers and pedestrians on the 7th Street side of Target Plaza.

- Free music: From noon to 2:15 p.m., DJ Mad Mardigan will perform on the balcony overlooking Target Plaza. Live music will also be performed at Target Field Station by the bands Field Trip and the Golden Hippie. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

- Opening of the gates: At 1 p.m., legendary Twins players will ceremonially open the gates.

- Pregame performance: At about 2:30 p.m. recording artist Shawn Mendes will perform a pregame set on the field.

- National Anthem: Local singer and actor Greta Oglesby will perform the National Anthem.

- Ceremonial first pitch: NBA star Kevin Garnett, who recently rejoined the Minnesota Timberwolves, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

- Flyover: A pair of F-16s from the Duluth-based 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard will perform a flyover of Target Field.

All fans who go to the game will receive a free Twins hoodie.

Metro Transit is encouraging fans to ride the bus or light rail to Target Field. This year, riders can buy their tickets online ahead of time. More information is here.

The Star Tribune has a look at some of the best spots to have a cocktail before or after the games.

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