Twins’ offense on pace for rare season

New manager Rocco Baldelli’s Minnesota Twins are off and running at the plate heading into a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Twins are averaging 5.19 runs per game through 32 games.

If that stat holds, it would mark just the seventh time in the Twins’ 58-year history that Minnesota has averaged five or more runs per game in a single season.

The Twins last did it in 2017, when they advanced to the American League wild-card game.

One reason for the outburst: Of the balls the Twins have put in play this season, 6.7% of them have been home runs.

Only the Seattle Mariners (7.6%) and Milwaukee Brewers (7.1%) are hitting home runs at a better rate.

Team HR contact %
Seattle Mariners 7.6%
Milwaukee Brewers 7.1%
Minnesota Twins 6.7%
San Diego Padres 6.4%
Cincinnati Reds 6.3%

Unfortunately, homers could be hard to come by Monday.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman hasn’t allowed a home run since last August, and has now gone 42 2/3 straight innings without giving one up, the second-longest active streak in the majors.

They’re finding other ways to score as well.

Outfielder Byron Buxton hit his 14th double of the season Sunday in the Twins’ loss to the New York Yankees.

Buxton is tied for the league lead, and is on pace to challenge the Twins’ single-season doubles record — 47, set by Justin Morneau in 2008.

Eduardo Escobar (2018) and Torii Hunter (2007) are the only Twins players to hit more doubles through the first 32 games of the season, while Trevor Plouffe (2014) also hit 14.

Other notes:

— The Blue Jays took three of four games at Target Field in the two teams’ first meeting of the season, but the Twins are 5-1 in Toronto dating back to 2017.

— Don’t expect to see many stolen bases in this series. The Twins and Blue Jays have each stolen just 55 bases since the beginning of the 2018 season. Only the Oakland A’s have fewer over that span.

— Toronto’s bullpen is holding opposing batters to a .193 average so far. Only the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen has been better.

Statistics courtesy of Sportradar