Dog days get no easier for Twins in Toronto


Early July generally offers baseball fans excitement and joy.

After all, no matter where you are in the country, it's generally sunny and warm with a chance to get outside and watch competitive baseball.

Competitive is the farthest thing from what the Twins were the past four days, however, being swept out of their own stadium by the hated Yankees on the way to a grueling 10-game road trip.

That road trip starts with Toronto, a three-game set from the Rogers Centre that begins at 6:07 p.m.

Canada has not been kind to Manager Ron Gardenhire's group, they've lost seven of their last eight to Toronto at the Rogers Centre, and 15 of 19 overall.

Challenge number one for Minnesota is a familiar face, Twin-killer Mark Buehrle who spent 12 years with the rival White Sox and has 27 wins against the hometown nine, his most vs. any opponent. He has a flare for the incredible, this perfect game and this unfathomable defensive gem just a few of his best.

Joe Mauer and the Twins offense looking to fight out of a team-wide slump, Mauer was just 3-29 on the six-game homestand, and Minnesota put up only 14 runs in the Yankee series. Justin Morneau hasn't found offensive success in his home country, just a .207 career batting average at the Rogers Centre.

Minnesota perhaps catching the AL East cellar dwellers at the right time, they've lost eight of 11, with Justin Verlander weaving a gem to give the Tigers the series win over Toronto last night. Don't let this recent run of bad play fool you, the Blue Jays had won 11 in a row before this skid.

Perhaps just having to play at all is a negative for the Twins right now, they've lost 10 of 13 and five in a row. Kevin Correia heads to the mound to try and stop the bleeding for a pitching staff that has given up 37 runs the last five games.

Saturday the Twins will throw Mike Pelfrey, his first start since being recalled for PJ Walters, who has to clear waivers if he hopes to return to Minnesota. He'll oppose the defending NL Cy Young winner and former Twin, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Sunday it will be Scott Diamond against a man making his second major league start, Todd Redmond.

We'll leave you with that, since second career starts are a sore spot for Twins fans right now.

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