Will the hits keep coming? — Twins vs. Royals 7/28

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

KANSAS CITY — The Twins offense has been producing absurd numbers over the last four games and even Michael Cuddyer had to laugh when he was told last night that the club had 72 hits in the stretch of four contests.

Cuddyer’s reaction is no surprise considering that according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Twins are only the third team in the last 100 years to score 10-or-more runs and have at least 19 hits in three consecutive games (others were Giants in 1933 and the Pirates in 1928).

The 72 hits are also the most the Twins have had in a four-game stretch in club history. The previous record for hits over four games was 62 from June 16-19, 2003.

But more importantly, the Twins enter the final game of this seven-game roadtrip with a 5-1 record having picked up series wins against two teams they clearly needed to beat. It already is a tremendous roadtrip and a sweep over the Royals today would certainly only help that.

Left-hander Brian Duensing will make his second start today. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Duensing should be able to throw around 85 pitches, although that will depend on how he fares as it’s expected to be in the mid to upper 90s today in Kansas City with the heat index.

Jim Thome is 9-for-26 (.346) with three home runs in his career against Royals right-hander Brian Bannister but he is not in the lineup today. Gardenhire said that he thinks the hotel beds in Kansas City have bothered Thome’s back, so the club will give him a day of rest and the hope is he’ll be feeling better when the team returns to action on Friday at home against the Mariners.

Twins

(55-46)

Denard Span, CF

Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Delmon Young, LF
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jason Repko, RF

Nick Punto, SS

Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing
(3-1, 1.69 ERA)

Royals
(42-58)

Scott Podsednik, LF
Willie Bloomquist, RF
Billy Butler, 1B
Jose Guillen, DH
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Mike Aviles, 2B
Rick Ankiel, CF
Brayan Pena, C
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Pitching: RHP Brian Bannister (7-9, 5.73 ERA) 

A
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