Few people were expecting the 26-54 Minnesota Twins to put up much of a fight heading into the second game of a three-game series against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers back on July 2.

A whopping 13 hits later the Twins had picked up their largest win of the season, blasting the Rangers 17-5.

And while the Twins aren't racking up 17 runs on a nightly basis, the win was a sign of things to come.

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The Twins are 20-12 since that win, trailing only the Toronto Blue Jays for the league's best record over that span.

Best record since July 2, MLB

Team Record Winning %
Toronto Blue Jays 20-10 .667
Minnesota Twins 20-12 .625
Detroit Tigers 19-12 .613
Los Angeles Dodgers 17-12 .586
Chicago Cubs 18-13 .581

Their record has coincided with the resurgence of a pair of Twins veterans, as first baseman Joe Mauer and second baseman Brian Dozier have emerged from the All-Star break as crucial pieces of Minnesota's offense, each seeing a big improvement at the plate over their last 23 games.

Most improved BA post All-Star break

*American League, minimum 3.1 PA per team game

Player Team Pre-ASB Post-ASB Improvement
Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers .293 .375 +.082
Brad Miller Tampa Bay Rays .241 .320 +.079
Brian Dozier Minnesota Twins .246 .323 +.077
Jose Altuve Houston Astros .341 .414 +.073
Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins .271 .319 +.048

Mauer and Dozier will look to continue Minnesota's history of success against the Houston Astros.

The Twins have 23 wins in 41 meetings with the Astros all-time, and have an extra-base hit in all of them, a run that dates back to 1997.

Most consecutive games with XBH vs. Astros

Team Games Start Date
Philadelphia Phillies 42 4/14/07
Minnesota Twins 41 6/13/97
Chicago Cubs 39 9/6/10
Cincinnati Reds 37 9/30/10

Statistics courtesy of STATS LLC