Minnesota Twins have been powering up in July

Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler has five home runs so far this month.

Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports/Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins’ slow start has hidden the fact the team is playing much better as of late — winning five of their last six games and seven of nine — and have pounded the ball in July.

The Twins have played .459 ball in June and July, a +.165 difference from their April-May percentage. This is the second-best differential in the American League with only Houston (+.214) better. This weekend’s opponent, Cleveland, is third at +.164.

Minnesota hasn’t been just winning more games recently. The Twins have been flexing their muscles, too.

Only one team in Major League Baseball — Boston — has a higher slugging percentage than the Twins’ .537 in July. The Red Sox are at .541, the Mets also at .537 (but the Twins is a fraction higher) and the Mariners .509.

Here is the July slugging percentages for every Twins player who is at .500 or better:

Player G 2B 3B HR SLG%
Trevor Plouffe 1 0 0 1 1.500
Kennys Vargas 6 5 0 3 1.294
Eddie Rosario 7 3 1 1 .645
Kurt Suzuki 6 3 0 1 .640
Byron Buxton 5 2 1 0 .625
Eduardo Escobar 3 0 0 1 .625
Max Kepler 10 0 0 5 .622
Miguel Sano 10 1 0 3 .538
Eduardo Nunez 9 4 0 1 .500

— The Twins are 9-4 vs. Cleveland and Texas — the two top teams in the American League — this season. Over the last two years, the Indians are 4-8 at Target Field.

Player Year Hits SB
Eduardo Nunez 2016 101 22
Chuck Knoblauch 1994 108 27
Rod Carew 1976 105 35
Rod Carew 1974 143 23
Rod Carew 1973 122 20
Cesar Tovar 1970 105 20

— In the last 12 meetings in Minnesota between these two teams, they have combined for just 85 runs, or 3.54 runs per team per game.

— Minnesota’s Ervin Santana (1.63) and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco (1.35) have the two lowest ERAs in the AL since June 19. Cleveland’s Corey Kluber (2.54) is fifth.