Minnesota Twins: 3 Things to Watch for in the Cleveland Indians Series

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Minnesota Twins: 3 Things to Watch for in the Cleveland Indians Series
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins enter their series against the Cleveland Indians trailing the Tribe by five games in the AL Central.

"That’s the fortunate thing about playing your division, like we do so much, you never get down," said slugger Jim Thome, who hit career home run 596 on Sunday. "Our guys have been great: our young guys have stepped up, our veteran guys have stepped up—Cuddy and Mauer and Nathan.

"We’ve had guys that have really—I think the thing with our club is that we’re getting somebody every other day coming up and being big, and that’s what you’ve got to have."

In the upcoming home games against Cleveland and Detroit, Minnesota can make a push to get back into the pennant race.

"We take it game by game now, and you’re chasing the .500 mark first, not so much the team," said manager Ron Gardenhire. "We’re working closer and closer to that, and then you try to catch the people ahead of you, but first you get back to .500, that’s always how it is in baseball.

"We’ve been working really hard to do that. We’re making a good push here, but we have to continue against the teams in our division."

The next series will be important for the Twins, who would greatly benefit from closing the gap in the AL Central early in the second half of the season.

Here are three things they must do in order to catch the Indians.

Tom Schreier is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials from the Minnesota Twins.

You can follow him on Twitter @tscheier3.

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