How much ground did the Twins make up in AL Central during 12 game winning streak?

Like the rally sausage, it was substantial but also went beyond an impact on the AL Central standings.
Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

After 12 games, 86 runs, and three series sweeps, the Minnesota Twins winning streak has come to an end.

The Boston Red Sox overcame the power of the lucky rally sausage and became the first team since April 21st to beat the Twins. We all knew the streak had to end at some point, but just because it's over doesn't mean the good times are going to stop rolling.

Minnesota did more than simply win 12 consecutive games over the last two weeks, it seemingly shook off whatever bad energy was weighing the team down. It wasn't the greatest start to the season for the Twins, as the team was just 7-13 when the streak started but have officially pulled themselves off the mat and back into the AL Central race.

It's more than just that, too.

While the dozen wins Minnesota pocketed has helped in the standings, the impact the streak had is going to extend well into the future.

Twins winning streak did more than just pull them back into AL Central race

There are two levels to what the impact of the winning streak will have, one that is immediately tangible and the other more philosophical.

As far as the standings go, Minnesota has moved into second place in the AL Central and sit just two games behind Cleveland. This is a surge up from fourth place, which is where the Twins were when the winning streak started.

Cleveland got off to a hot start but is starting to regress back to the mean, while both the Royals and Tigers are starting to fall back as well. All three were outpacing the Twins in the standings -- and on the field -- but things seem to be normalizing as the calendar rolls over to May.




Cleveland Guardians



Minnesota Twins



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Minnesota still has its work cut out, as series against the Mariners, Blue Jays, and Yankees are ahead before a rematch with the Guardians. Unlike where things were two weeks ago, if all goes well the Twins will have a shot to reclaim first place in the AL Central when they head to Cleveland on May 17th.

That's where the other positive part of the winning streak comes into play, one that is perhaps even more important than the ground Minnesota made up in the standings. Even though the streak ended with a 9-2 loss against Boston, the way the Twins came to life over the last 12 games is why fans aren't worried about things going back to the way they were.

Ryan Jeffers, Max Kepler, Willi Castro, and Trevor Larnach all stood out over the course of the winning streak in ways that suggest the offense is finally waking up.

Larnach is hitting .368/.432/.579 with a 1.011 OPS, while Castro hit .400 and collected hits in all but two games during the winning streak. Those two guys aren't relied on to be engines of the offense, yet they were sparkplugs that helped Minnesota outscore opponents 86-48 over the last 12 games.

Jeffers was slashing .366/.449/.659 heading into Sunday's game against the Red Sox while Kepler came off the IL and went on the kind of offensive tear that seemingly confirms a knee injury was holding him back. After taking some time to rest his knee after it was injured on Opening Day, Kepler has a 1.092 OPS with 11 RBI and only four strikeouts. That's in stark contrast to how he slashed .050/.095/.050 with just a single hit in the first six games of the season.

It's not a small sample size of success for those four players, and if that much of the lineup is hitting that well then the rest falls into place. The Twins went from aggressively underperforming to a team that knows it can blow opponents away; that sort of confidence is unquantifiable ground the team made up that will be the lasting legacy of this winning streak.

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