Blue Jays-Twins Preview

The Associated Press

The Minnesota Twins haven't won a home series with the Toronto Blue Jays in nearly seven years, and their one chance to end that streak this season is off to an unfavorable start.

The visitors will look to continue their rule in Minneapolis Wednesday night by securing another successful trip in the second of a three-game series.

Toronto (8-6) has dominated the series lately in both teams' parks, winning 21 of 26 overall and 18 of 22 in Minnesota after Tuesday's 9-3 victory. The Twins last won a home series with the Blue Jays when they took two of three May 25-27, 2007.

The Blue Jays seek their third straight win after scoring 20 runs on 31 hits in their last two games with Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion combining for a 14-for-23 mark in the middle of the order. Melky Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 14 games, a franchise record to begin a season, and Brett Lawrie hit a grand slam in the ninth.

"Once we got a few hits, it just started snowballing," Lawrie said.

The Twins (6-7) saw a three-game winning streak halted but continued to get on base at an impressive clip. Their .340 on-base percentage is among the best in baseball.

R.A. Dickey will be out to limit that in his fourth outing. Dickey (1-2, 5.30 ERA) has been roughed up in two of his three starts, including Thursday's 6-4 loss to Houston in which he allowed five runs on six hits in seven innings. He allowed two home runs to the Astros, something that hurt him last season when he surrendered 35, the second most in the majors. Still, he thought his knuckleball was working and his velocity was where he needed it.

"It was a real surprise when I have a knuckleball like that and have the outcome that we had," Dickey told the team's official website. "I had really good command of it early on ... I was throwing it hard, it felt great coming out of my hand, and then we had just a couple of hiccups and it happened really quickly. It's not like things were spiraling out of control."

His luck in Minnesota hasn't been any better with a 1-1 record and 7.30 ERA in four games, two starts.

The Twins counter with Mike Pelfrey, whose second season in Minnesota has gotten off to a rough start. Pelfrey (0-2, 7.84) allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings of a 6-1 loss to Oakland on Thursday, dropping him to 0-5 with a 7.58 ERA in his last six starts. The first of those was a loss to Toronto on Sept. 6. He went 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA against the Blue Jays last season.

This season, he's allowed four homers in two games.

"It was tough," Pelfrey told the team's official website after his last start. "My fastball command wasn't very good. I threw a lot of balls. I walked too many guys. I left balls up and over the plate. If you do that, you're going to hit. It was just a bad day of executing pitches."

Toronto center fielder Colby Rasmus missed Tuesday's game with a hamstring injury while Lind is day to day after leaving with lower-back tightness.

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