Twins aim to halt Ray's five-game winning streak

Left-hander Scott Diamond heads to the hill for Minnesota to face the hot bats of the Tampa Bay Rays in the series finale at Target Field Sunday afternoon. The Twins will face right-hander James Shields as they look to snap a three-game skid and avoid another sweep.
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Left-hander Scott Diamond heads to the hill for Minnesota to face the hot bats of the Tampa Bay Rays in the series finale at Target Field Sunday afternoon. The Twins will face right-hander James Shields as they look to snap a three-game skid and avoid another sweep.

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The surging Minnesota Twins face the struggling Cleveland Indians as they continue their seven-game road Monday night against. Minnesota starter Scott Diamond will open the three-game series in Cleveland. The Indians are looking to snap a nine-game skid as the Twins go for their sixth consecutive victory over the division rivals.

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Tampa Bay pitcher David Price tied the league lead for victories at 15 as the Rays beat the Twins 4-2 Saturday at Target Field. Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn took the loss, dropping his record to 4-8.

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Minnesota will face right-hander Jeff Niemann, who's still looking for a win this season, when they wrap-up the series with Tampa Bay Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Francisco Liriano is also looking to notch his first win of the season.

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The Minnesota Twins have a chance to sweep the Cleveland Indians Sunday afternoon at Target Field after handing the tribe a couple of embarrassing losses. Right-hander Brian Duensing will step in for Francisco Liriano, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox. Ubaldo Jimenez will take the hill for the Indians. Twins Third baseman Danny Valencia is also back for the first time since being sent down to Triple-A Rochester in May.

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The Twins look to avoid their seventh straight series loss to the White Sox in Wednesday afternoon's series finale at Target Field. A trio of former Twins helped Chicago even up the three-game set with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night, snapping Minnesota's four-game winning streak.

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Major League Baseball suspended Twins left-hander Scott Diamond for six-games on Friday, an action taken after Diamond threw behind Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton in the third inning of the team's loss to Texas Thursday. The suspension won't take effect immediately since Diamond has filed an appeal.

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Right-hander Esmerling Vasquez will make his debut with the Twins as he heads to the hill Sunday afternoon. The Twins will try to complete the three-game sweep in Kansas City, but without Josh Willingham. Twins General Manager Terry Ryan tells the Star Tribune the team wants to keep the outfielder off his left leg because of a slightly sore hamstring. The Twins will face Royals righty Luis Mendoza.