It's been two years since the Twins beat the Indians by more than one run in a game at Target Field, where the first- and- second-place teams in the AL Central will square off in a critical three-game series starting Tuesday night.
After going 5-4 at Target Field last year, the Indians are a perfect 7-0 in downtown Minneapolis this season. Of those four games the Twins actually won, all of them were by a single run and two of them took extra innings.
Simply put, Target Field has not served as a home-field advantage for the Twins against the Indians. If the trend continues this week, the Twins can kiss any remaining division title hopes goodbye.
Losing two of three would be bad. Getting swept could prove fatal. Here are the possible outcomes, with Cleveland's lead at the end of the series varying dependent on how they fare Monday night against the Red Sox.
Creating more concern this week are the three starters scheduled to pitch for Cleveland. Luckily, the Twins don't have to face Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber.
For the Twins, Colon has been outstanding his last two starts, Gibson has been average at best, and Berrios has an ugly 6.28 ERA since the beginning of July.
Once the Indians leave town the schedule eases up for the Twins with games against the slumping Diamondbacks and lowly White Sox and Blue Jays. Arizona's record is good, but they've lost 15 of 27 games since the All-Star break.
Twins schedule through the end of August
- 3 vs. Indians (63-52)
- 3 vs. Diamondbacks (65-52)
- 5 @ White Sox (45-70)
- 3 @ Blue Jays (56-61)
- 3 vs. White Sox
Indians schedule through the end of August
- 1 @ Red Sox (67-50)
- 3 @ Twins (59-57)
- 3 @ Royals (59-58)
- 4 vs. Red Sox
- 3 vs. Royals
- 3 @ Yankees (61-55)