Minnesota Twins: Four-Game Series Against Red Sox A Big One

Jun 14, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar (5) rounds second base after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar (5) rounds second base after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Twins have taken back first place in the American League Central. They will take on the Boston Red Sox as they try to keep the division lead.

This past weekend was just what the Minnesota Twins needed. After getting swept at home by the Cleveland Indians the week before, they were stuck in second place for the remainder of the week. They traveled to Cleveland to battle the Tribe again, this time returning the favor with a road sweep and reclaiming first place.

The Indians look to get back on track against the Texas Rangers, who are currently 38-37 and sit just a game out of fourth place in the American League West. The Minnesota Twins look to keep their hot streak going against a tougher opponent, the AL East leading Boston Red Sox, who are 41-34 on the season.

Pitching match ups are fairly even.

The Twins have a tough road ahead the next four games to stay atop the AL Central. The Red Sox won two of three during their series against the Twins in May at Target Field. In game one the Twins go up against Boston ace Chris Sale, who has been lights out for his new squad. The Twins have young phenom Jose Berrios toeing the rubber.

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Hector Santiago will make his first start since June 6th. His last three starts before his disabled list stint were terrible. He was 0-3 with a 12.10 ERA in those three starts. He will go up against Drew Pomeranz, who has been iffy all year. The Red Sox will bring out Rick Porcello and David Price in games three and four to go up against Adalberto Mejia and Kyle Gibson.

Porcello and Mejia each have ERAs over six in their last three starts, so it could be a high scoring affair. Price has been off and on since coming off of the DL and Gibson has been shaky all year. That may be the only lopsided match up of the series, pitching wise. If it comes to the bullpen, however, the Twins could be in trouble (unless the Sox decide to unleash the unimpressive Heath Hembree).

Three Red Sox to Watch Out For

Xander Bogaerts: .393 AVG, 3 HR and 8 RBIs in last seven games

Xander Bogaerts has been hitting for average all season long, but lacked in the power department. It seems as though he has found that part of his game again, hitting three home runs in just over a week’s time to run his season total to five. He is batting around .400 in that span, making him a force at the plate. We also can’t forget he is one of the best two strike hitters in baseball.

Jackie Bradley Jr.: .381 AVG, 2 HR and 3 RBIs in last six games

Jackie Bradley Jr. started the season off cold as could be, but his month of June has been phenomenal. He is hitting .346 this month with four home runs and 14 runs batted in. He has been even hotter with the stick in the last week, hitting .381 with two home runs. Bradley is getting confident at the plate again, and looks to continue his hot streak against the Twins.

Andrew Benintendi: .307 AVG, 5 HR and 13 RBIs in June

Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox stud rookie, has been tearing up pitching in June. Half of his season’s homers have come this month and he continues to rake over .300. In the last week, Benintendi has a home run to go along with a stellar .350 average. He has put himself on base in situations where other hitters have been able to drive him in.

Three Twins To Watch Out For

Eduardo Escobar: .394 AVG, 3 HR and 9 RBIs in June

Eduardo Escobar has been one of the hottest players in all of baseball this month. With an average pushing .400 in the month of June, he has been a pest in the Twins lineup. He looks to keep up his hot bat against the Red Sox. He is hitting .300 on the road, which could come in handy at Fenway Park.

Eddie Rosario: .308 AVG, 5 HR and 9 RBIs in June

Eddie Rosario has had a great month of June for the Twins. He is batting over .300 and has hit half of his season total of home runs in this month alone. In the last week, he is hitting .417 with one of those home runs. He is batting .300 this season against Boston and looks to keep that success going at Fenway Park.

Jorge Polanco: .357 AVG, 1 HR and 2 RBIs in last four games

The month of June has not been kind to Jorge Polanco, but he is making a late month push back to respectability. He is hitting .357 in the last four games, three of which came against the tough Indians club they are trying to dethrone. He batted .364 against Boston in the only series between the two teams in May, which will hopefully carry over in the upcoming series. He just needs to be able to find at bats in a lineup that includes Escobar and Brian Dozier.

Next: Road to the Show: Trevor Hildenberger Edition

This series will not be an easy one for the Twins. However, the pitching match ups in the series are fairly even and each team has some hot bats. If the Twins can hold their own in Boston, they can stay atop the division heading into their series in Kansas City. With a little help from the Rangers, the Twins can stay in first as they make their way back to the Midwest.