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Rays-Twins preview

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What's new: The Twins went 5-2 at Seattle and Colorado before the All-Star break but are at the bottom of the American League Central (though 1½ games better than the Rays). Star Joe Mauer is sidelined with an oblique strain. The offense isn't much overall, though 2B Brian Dozier has joined DH Kendry Morales and OF Josh Willingham as a power threat. The rotation, despite expensive upgrades, is a mess. All-Star closer Glenn Perkins anchors a strong bullpen.

Key stat: Ex-Rays OF Sam Fuld has reached base 15 of his past 24 times up and is hitting .450 (18-for-40) over his past 13 games.

Connections: Rays RHP Grant Balfour is a former Twin; Fuld was a Rays sensation from 2011-13.

Series history: Twins lead 2-1 this season. Tied 63-63 overall. Twins lead 35-29 at home, but Rays are 12-4 at Target Field.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays-Twins preview 07/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:55pm]
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