After suffering a six-game losing streak that included a series sweep in Houston last week, the Minnesota Twins bounced back at home over the weekend, outscoring the San Francisco Giants 20-2, sweeping the National League team from the bay.
Sunday the Twins hung six runs on Giants’ starting pitcher Jakob Junis, who was shown the door after 4.1 innings. Junis entered Sunday’s game with a 3.58 ERA and exited with an ERA nearly 50 points higher at 4.04.
While the Twins were busy sweeping the Giants, the American League Central-leading Cleveland Guardians got tripped up by the feisty Seattle Mariners.
In an incredible series in Seattle, the Mariners took three of four games from the Guardians, allowing the Twins, now 65-61, to gain two games on the current division leaders.
With less than six weeks remaining in the season, the Twins trail the Guardians by just two games. The Guardians had a four-game-lead entering the weekend.
The division rivals play each other eight times before the conclusion of the regular season. They have eight games against each other over an eleven-day stretch in mid-September.
First, the Twins host the Guardians for a three-game stand in Minnesota, September 9-11. Then, they’ll play five games over four days in Cleveland, September 16-19.
This week though, the Twins host the Boston Red Sox, then travel to Chicago to play the White Sox next week.
It’s an optimal time for the Twins to go on a run and reclaim the division, as the Guardians’ next six games will come against Baltimore and Seattle, teams that are both hot off big weekend series wins.
The Orioles stole two of three games from the Astros in Houston, backed by an excellent pitching performance Friday night from rookie Kyle Bradish. They’re 1.5 games back of the American League’s third and final wild card spot.
The White Sox suffered an embarrassing sweep at home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and have now lost nine of their last eleven. The South Siders, 63-65, are now five games out of first place, quickly falling out of contention.