Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals series preview

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 15: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run as Brad Boxberger #26 of the Kansas City Royals looks on during the fourth inning of the game on June 15, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Royals 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 15: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run as Brad Boxberger #26 of the Kansas City Royals looks on during the fourth inning of the game on June 15, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Royals 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JUNE 19: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to his game winning run in the seventeenth inning at Target Field on June 19, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The Minnesota Twins defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in 17 innings. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JUNE 19: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to his game winning run in the seventeenth inning at Target Field on June 19, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The Minnesota Twins defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in 17 innings. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

About the Twins

The Twins are coming off what has to be one of their most disappointing series of the year against the Boston Red Sox. Although they were able to come away with a 17-inning victory against Boston on Tuesday night, the other two games left much to be desired as a lack of clutch hitting doomed the Twins in a 2-0 loss on Monday and a bad start by Kyle Gibson helped Boston earn a 9-4 victory on Wednesday night.

While the clutch hitting doesn’t seem to be a major concern moving forward for the Twins (ask Max Kepler), the effectiveness of their bullpen has come into question. Blake Parker was struggling prior to being placed on the family emergency list and the entire unit may be fatigued after Tuesday’s 17-inning effort and Gibson’s 4 2/3 inning start on Wednesday.

What might be more concerning is the sudden rash of injuries that has hit the team. After being hit by Brad Keller on June 14, Byron Buxton wound up on the injured list with a wrist contusion early this week. Marwin Gonzalez also went to the injured list on Wednesday, prompting the return of fan favorite Willians Astudillo.

Even though many have been excited to see “La Tortuga” back in the lineup as he crushed a home run in Wednesday’s loss, the absence of Buxton and Gonzalez will be felt until they make their respective returns.

For now, the Twins will have to lean on the guys that have gotten them to this point as Jorge Polanco continues to lead the American League in batting average and Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver have been steady in the middle of the lineup. If guys like Miguel Sano, who is currently hitting .171 with 19 strikeouts in his last 35 at-bats, can get going, the Twins should be able to find their mojo in Kansas City.

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