Twins need an interleague bounce-back

Interleague play couldn’t come any sooner for the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins lost their third straight game on Thursday, falling 6-2 to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The Twins have been pretty much contained the last three days by Shawn Marcum, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. These guys are no slouches, but with the Milwaukee Brewers coming to town Friday, the Twins offense should be looking to turn things around.

And the Twins have had a lot of success in interleague play, posting the best interleague record since play between the leagues started nearly two decades ago.

The Brewers counter Minnesota’s 1-2 punch of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. Braun, in particular, has been scorching the baseball this season, with a .333 average, seven homers and 30 RBIs.

The Twins will have to face Yovani Gallardo in the three-game series, but the rest of the Brewers rotation is nothing to write home about.

One other story line that will be interesting to watch is what role will Trevor Hoffman have. Baseball’s all-time saves leader was kept out of a two-game series against Pittsburgh that ended Thursday to allow him to work on his mechanics with pitching coach Rick Peterson.

Hoffman blew another save in his last appearance Tuesday. It’s hard to imagine one of the best closers in baseball doing something other than closing, but speculation is that he won’t immediately be saving games for this team until he gets his feet under him. His ERA in 14 apperances is 13.15.

Carlos Villanueva pitched the ninth inning of Thursday’s win over the Pirates to collect his first save of the season. The right-hander has a 2.91 ERA in 20 appearances, holding opposing hitters to a .180 batting average.

And if you’re looking for a reunion of the Loose Cannons, you’re in luck. The Brewers are expected to activate Carlos Gomez – acquired from the Twins in an offseason trade – in time for Friday’s game. He was on the disabled list. Gomez and Alexi Casilla were once dubbed Loose Cannon 1 and Loose Cannon 2 by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

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