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La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Twins look to end road trip in dominant fashion against Rays

The splits against Rays lefthander Drew Smyly aren't that extreme. Lefthanders are batting .200 against him while righthanders are batting .235 against him. But it was enough for Twins manager Paul Molitor to shape his lineup accordingly.

Eddie Rosario is not in the starting lineup tonight in favor of Shane Robinson. Robinson played fairly well on Wednesday during the Twins' 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay. He's probably getting a boost from playing in front of hometown friends and family.

Fans already are wondering how Aaron Hicks will be worked back in the lineup once he recovers from his strained left hamstring. Well, he would be a lock to start alongside Byron Buxton and Torii Hunter against lefthanded starters. Hicks has progressed very well and might be sent out on a rehabilitation assignment early next week so he can be ready to step into the lineup Sept. 4 when he is due off the disabled list.

The Rays have placed outfielder Desmond Jennings on the 15-day disabled list due to a bruised left knee. Joey Butler has been called up from Class AAA Durham to take his place on the roster.

Twins go for their first sweep here since May 6-8, 2005. If would be their seventh straight win on the road, their longest since an eight-game streak on June 11-21, 2011.

UPDATEGlen Perkins threw in the bullpen to test his sore back and said the session went well. He said there was a chance he could pitch tonight after missing the last two games because of back spasms, but also admitted that it might be wiser to wait until Friday. If that happens, Trevor May could get the nod to close out tonight's game if needed. Kevin Jepsen needs a night off. He has appeared in five straight games, separated by Monday's offday.

Twins

Byron Buton CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Miguel Sano 3B
Trevor Plouffe, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Kurt Suzuki, C
Shane Robinson, LF

Tommy Milone, LHP

Rays

Brandon Guyer, RF
Daniel Nava, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Joey Butler, LF
Tim Beckham, DH
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
J.P. Arencibia, C

LHP Drew Smyly

Schedule might favor Twins playoff prospects

When the Twins started their current 10-game road trip that concludes at Tampa Bay tonight, it was easy to build a case that Minnesota had the toughest remaining schedule among wild-card contenders. The Twins began the trip with 26 road games and 19 home dates to play – the worst disparity at the time among the contenders.

Entering tonight’s game, the Twins have more home games (19) than road (17) games remaining.  That would appear critical since the Twins are currently 38-24 at home and 27-37 on the road, even with their current six-game road winning streak.

The best remaining home-road split among contenders belongs to Texas, which has 21 games at home, 16 on the road. But the Rangers this season are 28-32 at home and 36-29 on the road, which would appear to negative the apparent advantage of the remaining schedule.

The Angels have the worst remaining split with 15 home games and 21 on the road. That could be important since the Angels are 39-27 at home, and 25-35 on the road.

If you want to circle a key remaining series for the Twins, it’s Aug. 17-21 when the Angels visit Target Field for a four-game series.

Bottom 7th R H E
Minnesota 65-61 4 9 1
Tampa Bay 62-64 5 8 1

Today's Scoreboard

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  • LA Dodgers

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    1

    0

  • LA Angels

    Detroit

     

    - F

    2

    0

  • Toronto

    Texas

     

    - F

    1

    4

  • Baltimore

    Kansas City

     

    - F

    3

    5

  • Chicago Cubs

    San Francisco

     

    - F

    1

    9

  • NY Mets

    Philadelphia

     

    - Bot 8th

    5

    5

  • San Diego

    Washington

     

    - Top 8th

    1

    4

  • Pittsburgh

    Miami

     

    - Top 9th

    2

    1

  • Minnesota

    Tampa Bay

     

    - Top 8th

    4

    5

  • Seattle

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - Top 6th

    0

    4

  • St. Louis

    Arizona

    8:40 PM

  • Phoenix

    Connecticut

     

    - F

    81

    80

No games for MLS

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