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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins series preview

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What's new: Despite the return of former MVP Justin Morneau, who missed half of last season with a concussion, the two-time defending AL Central champion Twins have the fewest runs in the majors with 33 and are in last place at 4-7. They've hit only three home runs, none by Morneau, Joe Mauer, Delmon Young or Michael Cuddyer. Atypically, their pitchers are having trouble throwing strikes: A year after walking an AL-best 2.37 per nine innings, Twins pitchers are averaging 3.71, 13th in the league.

Key stat: A first-inning run Wednesday marked the first time all season Minnesota has scored in the first two innings.

Connections: Young is a former Ray, and Twins CF Denard Span is a Tampa Catholic product.

Series history: The Rays won five of eight last season and split four games at home. All-time, the Twins lead 56-44; it's 24-24 at the Trop.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins series preview 04/14/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2011 12:12am]
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