The Minnesota Twins continue to struggle through a woeful stretch at home. With a potential return date for Joe Mauer still unclear, those struggles may very well drag on longer.
The Twins look to avoid matching the franchise's longest home losing streak in 56 years on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.Minnesota (61-79) dropped its ninth straight game at Target Field on Saturday with an 11-2 loss to Toronto (66-76), which received two three-run homers from Adam Lind.Another defeat for the Twins on Sunday would be the team's first 10-game home losing streak since Sept. 15-29, 1957, when the franchise was still known as the Washington Senators.Not much has gone right for the Twins during the skid as they've posted a 6.11 ERA, have scored 20 runs and are batting .167 with runners in scoring position.Mauer, who ranks third in the AL with a .324 average, hasn't played since suffering a concussion on Aug. 19. He took batting practice with the team before Saturday's game but a timetable for his return still hasn't been established.Toronto's Esmil Rogers (4-7, 4.76 ERA) will try to keep Minnesota's offense grounded after breaking an 11-start winless slump his last time out. Rogers tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings while yielding one hit in a 4-1 win at Arizona on Monday, his first victory since June 18.He also didn't allow a home run after surrendering eight over 22 1/3 innings in his five August games."I just try to do everything I can to be here," said Rogers, who has made 40 appearances including a career-high 16 starts in his first season with the club. "I'm going to get a couple of more opportunities to start and I have to get ready."Saturday's win was the Blue Jays' ninth in 12 games and improved them to 10-3 at Target Field.Lind has a 1.011 on-base plus slugging over his last 20 contests with 13 RBIs and a pair of two-homer games, making a good impression as Toronto owns a team option on his contract the next three years."Adam's always been a good player for this organization," manager John Gibbons said. "I don't know how the team will stack up next year. But I don't think he needs to audition. He's proven himself over time."Lind will try to keep it going against Minnesota left-handed rookie Andrew Albers (2-2, 3.96), who was shelled Monday, allowing five runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings of a 10-6 win at Houston. He had thrown at least seven innings in four of his first five big league starts."Today I left a lot of balls up and left a lot of balls right over the middle and they made me pay," Albers said. "It obviously wasn't a very good day."Trevor Plouffe is batting .324 through his last 19 contests with eight doubles.Ryan Doumit is 2 for his last 14 but 3 for 9 off Rogers.Rogers has never started versus the Twins, going 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in six relief appearances against them.