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Series preview: Twins vs. Boston

  • August 8, 2011 - 12:59 AM

THREE-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELD

Monday, 6:10 p.m. • ESPN, 1500ESPN

RHP Scott Baker (8-6, 3.01 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (6-4, 4.99)

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500ESPN

LHP Francisco Liriano (7-9, 5.03) vs. LHP Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.55)

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500ESPN

RHP Nick Blackburn (7-9, 4.58) vs. LHP Jon Lester (11-5, 3.23)

TWINS UPDATE

The Twins haven't won a series since taking three of four from the Royals in mid-July. They're 8-19 this season against the AL East ... After taking the first of four games at Fenway Park in early May, the Twins then dropped three in a row, including an 11-inning, 2-1 loss on May 9 that ended with a walk-off double by Carl Crawford. In the first game, a 9-2 win, Trevor Plouffe hit his first homer of '11 off Tim Wakefield, Monday's starter ... Still in pursuit of becoming the eighth player to reach 600 career homers, Jim Thome is hitting .177 with four home runs against Wakefield. He's batting .385 (15-for-39) with five doubles, two homers and seven RBI since July 22 ... After notching his 254th save with the Twins on July 26 to tie Rick Aguilera for the all-time franchise lead, Joe Nathan, left, hasn't had a save opportunity since.

RED SOX UPDATE

Boston beat New York Sunday night in 10 innings to take sole possession of first place in the AL East. At 70-43, the Red Sox have the AL's best record. They lead the league in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Adrian Gonzalez, pictured, tops the majors with a .348 batting average and 91 RBI. ... Jacoby Ellsbury hit consecutive walk-offs against Cleveland on Aug. 2 and 3. Since going 0-for-8 in a 16-inning game on July 17, the center fielder is hitting .353 with five doubles, six homers and 21 RBI. Both Gonzalez and Ellsbury were hitless Sunday. ... Crawford is hitting .412 (7-for-17) lifetime against Scott Baker with a 1.180 OPS and two doubles. ... In 11 at-bats against Francisco Liriano, Kevin Youkilis has three doubles and six RBI. The Twins lefty is 1-3 with a 7.78 ERA lifetime against Boston, though he's struck out 27 in 19 2/3 innings.

ALEX PREWITT

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