After a tough start to the month of May, Minnesota Twins outfielder MaxKepler has found his swing again.
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In Sunday's doubleheader against the Kansas Royals, Keplerreached base in five of his 10 plate appearances. He finished the day 3 of 8 with a home run and two walks.
Through38gamesthis season, Kepler is starting to show more experience and patience at the plate. He ranksfourth on the Twins with 18 walks and third in on-base percentage (.358).Kepler had only picked up nine walks and had an OBP of .323 in his first 38 games last season.
And it's only going to get better from here. The 24-year-old outfielder is hitting .360 in his last seven games with nine hits, two homers and an OPS of 1.147.
The Twins visit the Baltimore Orioles for a three-game series, starting on Monday night. Kepler has faced the Orioles only once in his young career. It was a memorable game -- the left-handed hitterwent 2 of 3 with a home run and a walk in a 6-2 Twins win.
A DAY OF MILESTONES
On Sunday,the day of Target Field's first traditional doubleheader since it opened in 2010, starting pitcher Phil Hughes recorded his 1,000th career strikeout by fanning Alcides Escobar in the fourth inning in Game 1. Hughes, an 11-year veteran, joins Ervin Santana as the only two current Twins starting pitchers to have reached the mark.
Miguel Sano, not to be outdone,knocked in four runson the day to surpass the 150 RBI career mark. He's tallied 152 RBI in just 234 career games, which ranks second in franchise history. Only Marty Cordova reached the milestone in fewer games.. He passed the mark in his 223rd career game in 1996.
-- The Orioles own MLB's best home record this season at 15-4. In fact, Baltimore is second in the league at home the last six seasons. It boasts a .606 winning percentage, bested only by the Los Angeles Dodgers' .610 winning percentage.
-- That being said, the Twins are playing outstanding on the road. They are second in MLB with an 11-5 road record. This comes one season after Minnesota finished dead last with a 29-52 record away from Target Field in 2016.
-- Minnesota swept all seven games against the Orioles in 2015. But Baltimore battled back to take five of six matchups last season. The two teams will square off seven times this season.