The AL's lowest-scoring team finally woke up over the weekend and next draws a matchup against the team with the league's next highest ERA to its own.
The last-place Minnesota Twins hope to keep improving their own dismal numbers when they visit the Oakland Athletics on Monday seeking their longest winning streak of the season.
Minnesota (15-34) has won four straight for the second time, capping the run with a weekend sweep at Seattle. The Twins seek their first five-game run since winning six in a row from Aug. 20-26, and they can do so by snapping a two-game skid against the Athletics (22-29).
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They averaged only 3.56 runs through their first 45 games but have totaled 25 and batted .288 during the win streak. Of their 40 hits, 11 are home runs, and they belted three in a game three times -- a number they reached only twice previously.
Miguel Sano has been the biggest contributor, homering in each game on the streak to raise his team-leading total to 11. Joe Mauer has gone deep three times, Eduardo Nunez hit two and Brian Dozier and Robbie Grossman one each.
The Twins' lineup will try to keep raising its AL-low 3.77 scoring average against Oakland, which just took the final two games of a three-game set versus Detroit. The Athletics' ERA of 4.76 is the league's second worst, ahead of only Minnesota's 4.98.
Oakland received a scare in Sunday's 4-2 win when starter Rich Hill left in the seventh inning with what was termed a slight groin strain. Manager Bob Melvin said Hill didn't want to leave the game, so he made the decision to replace him out of caution.
"He was still pitching effectively," Melvin said. "I didn't want to take a chance it would get worse."
The A's will send the struggling Kendall Graveman to the mound for this series opener. Graveman (1-6, 5.36 ERA) hasn't won since April 20, losing five straight starts before allowing two runs and seven hits over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision at Seattle on Tuesday.
The right-hander has struggled to a 6.57 ERA in May, surrendering 36 hits in 24 2/3 innings while walking 12 and striking out 17.
Minnesota's Ervin Santana (1-3, 4.17) also took a big step backward in his latest outing, Tuesday's 7-4 loss to Kansas City.
The 12-year-veteran was tagged for season highs of six runs and nine hits over 3 2/3 innings, as his ERA jumped more than a run from 3.13.
"My command was not good," Santana told MLB's official website. "Everything was up in the zone."
The right-hander may have a prime opportunity to get back on track against a team he has dominated. Santana is 15-6 with a 2.07 ERA in 27 career starts versus Oakland. His 15 wins are his most against any opponent, while his ERA is lower than any team he has faced more than four times.
Santana's 1.93 ERA at Oakland Coliseum is lower than any venue he has pitched in more than twice. Oakland's Billy Butler bats just .235 in the matchup, but five of his eight hits are home runs.