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Continued: Phil Miller's Sunday Insider: Twins not stealing or hitting triples

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 4, 2013 - 8:44 PM

***

The deadline-day trade for Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell could pay off in several ways for Kansas City. He could give left fielder Alex Gordon, who has missed only four games, an occasional day off. He’s good insurance behind center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who has a history of injuries. And he could form an effective platoon with right fielder David Lough, a lefthanded hitter.

• • •

Acquiring Jose Iglesias at the deadline marks a philosophical change for Detroit, which has tried to get by with below-average infield defense for several years. Iglesias, scouts say, is a future Gold Glove defender, which would be unusual in Detroit: The last Gold Glove winner at short was Alan Trammel in 1984, and only one other Tiger, Ed Brinkman in 1972, ever won the honor.

• • •

Cleveland equaled its 2012 Progressive Field victory total on Thursday, winning their 11th consecutive home game to improve to 37-19. Last year, the Indians were 37-44 at home.

Statistically speaking

Problem innings

The Twins’ first-inning problems, acute in May, have improved, though they still have allowed more first-inning runs (and been outscored by 34 runs) than any other team. But Toronto’s problems in the second inning have been worse. Entering the weekend, here are the leaders for most total runs allowed in an inning:

Runs Team Inning

97 Blue Jays Second

84 Astros Fourth

82 Twins First

78 Astros Eighth

76 Giants Third

76 Orioles Sixth

Not-so-mighty Giants

The Giants’ fall to last place, entering the weekend, puts them in danger of joining the 1998 Marlins as the only defending World Series champion to finish in the basement. They also need to rally in order to avoid becoming the 15th world champ to finish with a losing record the following year. The past five:

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Atlanta - A. Wood 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - A. Burnett
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
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NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
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Tampa Bay - C. Archer
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