There's no doubt the Indians, Tigers and White Sox have left the door open for the Twins to make a run at their seventh AL Central title in the past 10 years.

It'll still be a long climb for the Twins, who are just 31-39, but they've trimmed their deficit from 16 1/2 games to 7 1/2 games in less than three weeks. Staggering.

Despite their horrendous start, the Twins still control their own fate. They'll play 40 of their final 77 games against Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. So far, the Twins are 4-1 against the Indians, 0-5 against the Tigers and 4-0 against the White Sox.

John Lowe, veteran baseball writer for the Detroit Free Press, tracks some interesting AL Central trends in this piece, including the recent dominance by Twins starting pitchers and a streak of 27 consecutive scoreless innings by the Indians bullpen.

I'm among the people who think the Indians will continue fading, but their bullpen is helping slow that process.


With the Twins and Giants slated for a 9:15 first pitch on FSN (Pavano vs. Bumgarner), there's some other interesting action to follow around MLB:

The White Sox and Cubs (Buehrle vs. Garza) meet at 7:10 on WGN. At the same time, Jeremy Hellickson and Zack Greinke will be squaring off at Miller Park in the best pitching matchup of the night.

Then, at 9:10, the Tigers and Dodgers (Scherzer vs. Billingsley) will be carried on MLB Network. I'm hoping they'll have Vin Scully's call of that game, so we can flip over during commercials.

Programming note: La Velle has our coverage from San Francisco. Souhan and I will meet the team Friday in Milwaukee.

Quick fact: The Twins are scheduled to miss Greinke and Shaun Marcum (7-2) in Milwaukee, and when the Dodgers visit Target Field next week, the Twins aren't scheduled to face Clayton Kershaw who posted a ridiculous 93 game score against the Tigers last night.

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