Major League Baseball
Preview
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, May 26, 2017
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota Twins remain the biggest surprise in the American League with their worst-to-first turnaround and will try to stretch their latest winning streak to five straight when they host the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game series on Friday. The Twins swept a three-game series at Baltimore this week and are winners of 10 of their last 14 contests.

Three of those four losses in the last 14 games came at home, where Minnesota owns an 11-13 record compared to a 14-5 mark on the road. The Rays own a 9-12 mark on the road but head to Minnesota more confident about the offense after watching Colby Rasmus break out of a slump with four RBIs in Thursday's 4-0 triumph over the Los Angeles Angels. "(Hitting with runners aboard) is tough for every team in this league, except for the few that push them across every time," Rasmus told reporters. "We try. The vibe in the clubhouse is good, everybody is working to try and get better every day." Rasmus and company will take their swings on Friday against Twins left-hander Hector Santiago, who opposes Tampa Bay righty Chris Archer.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), FSN North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76 ERA) vs. Twins LH Hector Santiago (4-2, 3.96)

Archer recorded 11 or more strikeouts in three of his last four outings but owns only one win in that span - eight scoreless innings against Kansas City on May 10. The North Carolina native did not walk a batter in that start against the Royals but issued a total of eight walks and nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings against Cleveland and the New York Yankees in his last two turns. Archer is 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six career starts against Minnesota.

Santiago allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of nine starts but is struggling a bit of late. The 29-year-old was roughed up for six runs in 2 2/3 innings at Cleveland on May 14 and could not make it past the fifth inning against Kansas City last Friday while surrendering three runs on eight hits. Santiago is 1-0 with a 4.86 ERA in four career games - two starts - against Tampa Bay while racking up 17 strikeouts in 16 2/3 total innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Rays RHP Tommy Hunter turned in his fifth straight scoreless appearance on Thursday.

2. Twins 3B Miguel Sano is 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in his last two games.

3. Minnesota RF Max Kepler is enjoying a seven-game hitting streak and recorded at least one extra-base hit in six of those contests.

PREDICTION: Twins 5, Rays 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Tampa Bay 25-25 W2 16-13 9-12 13-16 6-4 3-4 3-1
Minnesota 25-18 W4 11-13 14-5 4-2 16-12 4-2 1-2
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/7/16 MIN 6 TB 3 .242 2 .749 .308 2 .862
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay M. Martinez .000 0 .000
Minnesota N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay M. Martinez 0 1 0
Minnesota E. Adrianza 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 0.00 .000 0
Minnesota 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay C. Dickerson .332 62 .998
Minnesota M. Sano .300 45 1.017
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay C. Dickerson 12 34 23
Minnesota M. Sano 11 32 37
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.65 .247 376
Minnesota 4.17 .250 295