Twins coming of age

Although the early Mickey Mouse play of the Minnesota Twins was rapped in the press more often than President Reagan's tax program, Manager Billy Gardner's fuzzy cheeked kids have played better than .500 ball since June 22. During that period the Twins have posted better records than Boston, New York, Chicago and Detroit, all of whom were considered pennant contenders at the beginning of the season. Minnesota was no laughing matter to Kansas City last week, when it swept a three-game series from the Royals.

''We've got some kids who know how to hit and several of them are also capable of reaching the fences,'' said Gardner. ''It takes time for a young team to get the feel of winning and for a while that held us back. But once a team becomes confident that it has the ability to play well everyday, it can grow awfully fast.'' While practically no one was looking, rookie pitcher Al Williams (obtained during the winter from the Houston Astros) has won six in a row for the Twins.

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