Minnesota remained 6-1/2 games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central on Friday, and five games behind second-place Detroit. But it's only because the Indians are 8-12 over their last 20 games, and the Tigers are in a 3-12 freefall.
The Twins, meanwhile, have lost four of their last five, and most discouraging of all is the reason. They have scored two runs total in those four losses, an offensive drought that appears to be getting worse as the season wears on.
The Twins rank 11th in the American League in scoring, an ineptness at the plate that undoes all the good work of their pitching staff, which ranks fourth in runs allowed.
And the heart of the order has been particularly unproductive lately. Excluding their 11-4 victory on Wednesday, the 4-5-6 hitters in Minnesota's lineup are in a horrible slump -- Michael Cuddyer is hitless for his last 20, Justin Morneau is two for his last 26, and Torii Hunter is four for his last 19.
Last Game: ANGELS 10, TWINS 1: Maicer Izturis belted a Scott Baker pitch into the right-field stands Friday for his first career grand slam, handing the Twins their fourth loss in five games. Minnesota, which suffered its worst loss since a 13-1 defeat in Toronto July 25, has scored one or zero runs in five of its last six games.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Shutouts, of the Twins' major-league high of 11 (through Aug. 10), in games started by RHP Carlos Silva.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Power outage? Yeah, we haven't hit a homer in a while." -- Ron Gardenhire, whose team didn't hit a home run during the first week of August, asked about a 34-minute delay when a bank of lights failed in Kauffman Stadium.)
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