Twins offense, finally clicking, one of baseball's best since mid-May
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Though still 10 games from reaching the .500 mark, the Minnesota Twins are undergoing an offensive awakening and with it has come a steady stream of wins.
The Twins remain the American League's worst team, with a 24-34 record. But they have strayed far from that identity in recent weeks.
An 11-3 thumping of the Chicago Cubs on Saturday was the latest scoring barrage for the Twins, who are winners of nine of their last 11 games. Since May 16, the Twins have averaged 5.6 runs per game -- second in the MLB behind the Chicago White -- posting a 13-8 record in that span.
"This is really deadly right now. It's deadly," upstart outfielder Ben Revere said of the Twins' offense.
Along with an up-and-down pitching rotation that is starting to experience moments of clarity, consistent production from Revere and slugger Josh Willingham has been the catalyst for the Twins' current revival.
After being recalled from Class Triple-A Rochester on May 17 for the second time this season, Revere, armed with a more level-headed approach, has been one of baseball's best hitters, with a .346 average and .372 on-base percentage. Willingham has been equally impressive - 17 hits and 14 RBI's in his last 12 games -- as he continues on a career-best pace.
Revere and Willingham haven't been alone. As Saturday proved, the Twins have the ability to find offensive prowess throughout its lineup. Trevor Plouffe, who has found a new level of confidence in his swing, knocked in four RBIs as six Twins batters tallied two hits or more off the woeful Cubs pitching staff.
"I'm just getting myself into some better counts and swinging at strikes," Plouffe said. "It's the pitcher's job to get you to chase (pitches) and earlier in the season I was doing that, but I've been able to work the count more and get into those hitter's counts."
Scoring at a high rate is essential for the Twins, given that their starting rotation is still prone to a letdown. The Twins have won only seven games this season when scoring four runs or less.
If the rotation can stabilized at a passable rate, the Twins' offensive burst has made their prospects of making it back to .500 sizably less improbable than they were a month ago.