The Tampa Bay Rays should be an inspiration for the lifeless Twins.

After starting the season 1-8, Tampa Bay is a major league best 13-3 since April 10. And the Rays have done this with All-World third baseman Evan Longoria on the disabled list with a ... (wait for it) ... strained oblique.

The Rays are 6-1 against the Twins during their turnaround, and Minnesota didn't even have to face David Price.

So now it's on to Kansas City, where the Royals will be coming off an 0-6 road trip to Texas and Cleveland.

The Twins are leaving on an nine-game, 11-day road trip to KC, Chicago and Boston. Their next home game isn't until May 10 (against Detroit). That sounds like an eternity.

Beyond the record, what will this team look like then?

It doesn't sound like Joe Mauer will be ready to come off the DL. Delmon Young (strained oblique) is eligible to return next Wednesday in Chicago.

Meanwhile, Jim Thome (strained oblique) could be headed to the DL, and if not, Jason Repko (sore quad) could land there. Manager Ron Gardenhire said if one of those guys aren't ready to play in the next couple days, the team would make the move to add a 13th pitcher.

That would likely be Kevin Slowey, who is ready to come back from his right shoulder bursitis.

The Twins already have used 16 pitchers and 16 position players. Seven players have come up from Class AAA Rochester, including Anthony Swarzak, who got sent right back there tonight.

It's enough to make your head spin.

Note: La Velle has our coverage from Kansas City. I'll catch up with the team in Chicago.

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Mauer isn't ready to play

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Thome scratched; Gardenhire hints at Plouffe's promotion