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Twins begin make or break series with the Royals

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Three games. Three little games.

Sounds like a hair's breadth, doesn't it?

Well, think of it this way-- if the Twins don't sweep the Royals, who are playing hotter baseball than any team in the American league, they'll head into their four game series with Detroit desperate for wins. It's not Chicken Little posturing when we say that if the Twins don't perform this weekend at scenic Kaufman Stadium, their postseason hopes will go dark.

There's a lot to be excited about. By some measure, the season will be a success regardless of their post-season results. With Morneau sidelined with a stress fracture, Michael Cuddyer has batted hot enough to win a Player of the Week award, netting a dozen RBIs in a week of play, a couple dingers, and several crucial picks filling in at first base.

To boot, Minnesota's shady-as-hell starting rotation has performed famously. Manship and Duensing have proven to be strong starters in the second half after a season fraught with injury and failure on the part of Slowey and Liriano, respectively. And hey--even Liriano, who had his name on the biggest flop season any starting star has had in recent years, has shown up out of the bullpen.

But it may be too little too late; a day late, a dollar short. Kansas City is filling their traditional role as botto-of-the-league spoilers, even bumping out of last in the final weeks of the year. And Detroit is no lame duck--even though they've had a late season slide in September, they'll enter their series primed to win.

It's fingernail chomping time, as it always seems to be with the Minnesota Twins. Will their September push prove to be enough? Tune in. It's going to be one hell of a finish.