Twins breaking in hot bats just as break arrives

Minnesota's offense soaring in July after sluggish start

Twins breaking in hot bats just as break arrives

ARLINGTON -- The way the Twins have looked recently, it would be hard to blame them if they wanted to skip the All-Star break and keep playing.

The Twins closed out the first half by winning seven of their last nine games, including five of seven against the Rangers, who have the best record in the American League. The Twins' offense stayed hot in the series finale on Sunday, a 15-5 drubbing at Globe Life Park. Minnesota outscored the Rangers 62-30 in the seven games, scoring 38 runs in the four-game series in Texas.

The offense has come alive, especially in the power department, as the Twins are tied with the Cubs for the most homers in the Majors dating back to June 26 with 28. The Twins have also scored the most runs in baseball going back to June 18 with 140, which is eight more than any other team over that span.

The Twins showed off that power Sunday, as Max Kepler hit a grand slam, while Kennys Vargas, Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier also homered. Kurt Suzuki, Robbie Grossman and Eddie Rosario had three hits each.

Twins belt four home runs

"I'd think we're on the high end here [offensively] the last two or three weeks, and it's been balanced," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Dozier has been hot, Kurt has been on an incredible run. The young guys have injected some life and are taking advantage of some opportunities. Kepler's development and RBI-to-games-played ratio is pretty impressive. You can just go on about the guys who are swinging the bat well."

Even with their better play, the Twins head to the break with a 32-56 record that's the worst mark in the AL. But there are signs Minnesota is starting to turn it around, especially in July. They led the Majors with 78 runs this month, while also posting a 3.40 ERA that's sixth-best in baseball.

"We're just showing now what we were capable of all season," said lefty Tommy Milone, who gave up two runs in five innings to get the win. "It's unfortunate the way the year started the first couple months, but we're now showing the team we could've been from the beginning."

Milone strikes out Beltre

The Twins will undoubtedly be sellers leading up the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline, and they will see what they have in youngsters like Kepler in the second half, but Molitor is optimistic they'll finish the year strong to get some momentum going into next season.

"When you get good results and you win games and realize how enjoyable it is, I'd like to think it makes these guys hungry to win as many games as possible going forward," Molitor said. "The guys need to look back on what's happened, regroup and come back and realize there's still a lot of baseball left to play."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.