The Twins went 13-13 in June, and hit .260 for the month, by most measures their best month of the season. Yet coming off a 1-4 road trip and a split of four games with the Royals, it doesn't seem like a great step forward at the moment, does it?
July's schedule starts tonight, with 14 straight games against the A.L. East heading into the All-Star Break, so we'll see how much progress they've made. Andy Pettitte, 12-5 all-time against the Twins, is on the mound, while Scott Diamond tries to remain in the Twins' rotation with a strong outing tonight.
The Yankees arrived in Minneapolis around 3 a.m. last night, after playing on Sunday Night Baseball in Baltimore, where they were swept in four games. New York has lost five straight games to fall to fourth place, but hasn't lost a series in Minnesota since 2008; the Yankees are 8-3 in Target Field, counting the postseason.
Joe Mauer isn't in the Minnesota lineup; he's a .269 hitter against Pettitte (including the postseason), so I don't think it's a matchup issue; probably just giving him a break since the Twins don't have a day off until the break.
UPDATE: Mauer was feeling "a little under the weather" when he came to the park today, like a handful of his teammates, so Ron Gardenhire decided to keep him on the bench for a day. "He looked a little draggy yesterday," the manager said, and his bat didn't appear as quick as usual. Mauer doesn't have a hit in his last 17 at-bats.
Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells RF
Travis Hafner DH
Zoilo Almonte LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Steward C
David Adams 3B
Andy Pettitte LHP