The Minnesota Twins have been bad all season, but they've been absolutely putrid since the calendar flipped over to the month of September. In 14 games this month, the Twins have only won twice, including their current seven-game losing skid. They will attempt to avoid their eighth straight loss, as well as getting swept for the third consecutive series, when they host the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.
The Twins have all but guaranteed themselves a last-place finish in the American League Central. Their seven-game losing streak, coupled with a seven-game winning streak by the Kansas City Royals, has put the Twins 6.5 games behind the Royals in the "race" for last place in the AL Central. The Twins are the only team in the American League with a winning percentage under .400, and are three games worse than the Baltimore Orioles in the chase for the worst record in the Junior Circuit.
To try to avert an eighth straight loss, the Twins will turn to right-hander Carl Pavano (8-12, 4.50 ERA). Pavano has actually pitched pretty well against Cleveland this season. In three starts against the Tribe, encompassing 21.1 innings pitched, he has allowed only six runs (five earned). He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his starts against Cleveland this season, and has compiled a record of 1-1 with one no-decision.
The Indians will counter with right-hander Justin Masterson (11-10, 3.20 ERA). He has also pitched well against his opponents today, allowing just four runs on 18 hits in 23.1 innings over three starts. Despite that, he has a record of just 1-0 with two no-decisions in those starts.
First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. Be sure to hang out with the folks at Twinkie Town for their Game Thread, and come back here for the recap when the game is over.