The Minnesota Twins may not have much power, but they’re still managing to score runs.
The AL Central-leading Twins will be looking to build off an impressive offensive series when they open a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday at the Metrodome.
Minnesota (20-17) has hit 20 home runs this season, just one more than the Kansas City Royals for the fewest in the majors. Still, the Twins have scored at least seven runs in each of their last five wins, and they scored a total of 25 while taking three of four games from AL East-leading Boston over the weekend.
“There may be new characters in the clubhouse, but it’s the same philosophy,” said right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who had two hits and an RBI Monday as the Twins won the series finale 7-3.
Minnesota had 11 hits - none of them homers - one night after going deep three times in a 9-8 win, their first game with more than one home run this season. The Twins have scored 70 runs while winning nine of their last 12 games.
“Everybody’s starting to swing the bats, and it’ll be fun around here when we start to see everyone get going,” said designated hitter Craig Monroe, who had a two-run double Monday after homering twice on Sunday.
The Twins will be squaring off against a Toronto team desperate for any kind of offense. The Blue Jays (18-22) managed just four runs in their just-completed four-game series at Cleveland.
The Blue Jays salvaged the last game of that set, beating the Indians 3-0 in 10 innings in the second game of a doubleheader Monday to end a four-game losing streak. Toronto, which lost 3-0 in the first game, got all three runs in the 10th to snap a 31-inning scoring drought.
“It’s nice to get one with nothing else going our way,” said second baseman Aaron Hill, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run single.
Toronto starter Jesse Litsch (4-1, 4.24 ERA) will look to continue his recent strong pitching. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA over his last three outings.
Litsch gave up three runs in seven innings of the Blue Jays’ 13-inning, 8-3 home loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. His two career starts against Minnesota both came last season, and he went 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in those outings.
The Twins will send Kevin Slowey (0-2, 6.48) to the mound for his third start of the season. The right-hander, who had been on the disabled list with a right biceps strain, three runs in five innings of Thursday’s 6-2 road loss to the Chicago White Sox - his first start since April 3.
“(It was) obviously disappointing, but my arm felt 100 percent - which was important - and I know that I can get guys out if I make good pitches,” Slowey told the Twins’ official Web site.
Slowey’s only previous start against the Blue Jays came on June 25 last season at home. He allowed five runs in five innings of Minnesota’s 8-5 loss, although he did not get charged with the decision.