Minnesota had a three-game winning streak end Sunday with a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Twins are 3-0 after being shut out this season, outscoring opponents 17-11 in those games. They haven’t lost consecutive games since a three-game skid from May 11-14.
Minnesota has been hot lately, winning eight of its last 12 games. The Indians, though have also been playing well, with victories in seven of their last nine games. The AL Central rivals have already met 10 times this season, with each team winning five.
“I think there’s a heightened intensity when we play,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “I think I’d be lying if I said anything different. But that’s good. That’s good for everybody—good, hard baseball.”
Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer didn’t start for the fifth straight game because of a tight right groin, but is expected to play Tuesday. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire considered using Mauer as a designated hitter Sunday.
“That’s the right thing to do rather than take a chance and do something silly,” Gardenhire said.
The Indians completed a three-game sweep of Oakland on Sunday with a 6-2 win. Victor Martinez, who was mired in a 4-for-37 (.108) slump, had a homer and double in the game. It was his first homer in 119 at-bats.
“This definitely was a good day for me, but I have to keep it going,” Martinez said. “I’m still hitting in the low 200s (.201). I know that I can hit and I will hit.”
The switch-hitter, an All-Star last year when he hit .283 with 23 homers and 108 RBIs, entered batting .147 (16-for-109) against right-handers, but went 2-for-3 against Seth Etherton. He’ll face another right-hander, Carlos Silva, on Tuesday.
“If I knew exactly what it was, I would not be doing it,” Martinez said. “Sometimes, it just takes a while to feel comfortable at bat.”
Indians third baseman Aaron Boone, hitting .159 for the season and in a 3-for-26 (.115) slide, did not play.