For the first time in nearly a month, the Minnesota Twins can feel a sense of accomplishment and not feelings of frustration.
Coming off their first series win in nearly a month, the Twins hope to keep the offense going Monday night when they host the Texas Rangers in the opener of a four-game series.
Minnesota is coming off taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals, scoring 22 runs in the two wins. The Twins also have 32 runs in their past three wins and are 3-1 in their past four games after dropping 13 of 15 from April 10-27.
The Twins won a series for the first time since taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers from April 5-7. Minnesota also posted its first home series win after Andrelton Simmons, Alex Kirilloff and Mitch Garver homered in a 13-4 rout of the Royals on Sunday when the offense posted 14 hits, marking the fourth time this season it collected at least 14.
During the past four games, the Twins are hitting .281 (39-for-139). In their 15-game slump, they batted .214 and were held to three runs or less 11 times.
“I think approaches have been more consistent one through nine,” Garver said. “Sometimes the ball hasn’t gone our way over the last few weeks, whether it’s a bloop that’s been caught. We hit a couple balls hard today that were caught also. Some of those things are starting to fall our way, and I think that’s a good sign for things to come.”
Texas also is coming off an enjoyable weekend as it took three of four from the Boston Red Sox by winning three close games. Before taking the series with the Red Sox, the Rangers had dropped eight of 12 games.
On Sunday, the Rangers rallied late for a 5-3 victory by scoring three times in the eighth inning. David Dahl and Brock Holt hit RBI singles in the eighth while Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored on an error after homering in the seventh.
Dahl delivered his big hit after entering Sunday with four hits in 34 at-bats over his previous 10 games. Kiner-Falefa homered after finishing a double shy of the cycle on Saturday and is batting .380 (19-for-50) over his past 12 games.
“That should give us a huge momentum boost,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said of taking a series from the team with the American League East’s best record. “I’ll say this again and I say it all the time, we got to keep it going. A lot of times you can get a little bit of a letdown after a series like that.”
Right-hander Kenta Maeda (1-2, 6.56 ERA) will start for Minnesota on Monday and is coming off a pair of rough outings that have caused his ERA to inflate.
Maeda pitched to a 3.07 ERA in his first three outings but has allowed 12 runs on 16 hits, including six homers in 8 2/3 innings, in his past two starts. He last pitched in a 7-4 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday, when he allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Maeda has a 4.50 ERA in two previous appearances, one start, against Texas, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Texas will counter with righty Dane Dunning (1-1, 3.97), who has not allowed a homer in 21 2/3 innings since April 6. Dunning has allowed nine runs in his last two starts and allowed four runs on six hits in five innings of a 4-3 loss to the Angels on Wednesday.
Dunning’s only career start against Minnesota occurred Sept. 15 when he allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in seven innings in a 6-2 win for the Chicago White Sox.
–Field Level Media