Twins try to ramp up game against contenders

Twins try to ramp up game against contenders

MINNEAPOLIS -- After taking two out of three in Detroit over the weekend, the Twins are looking to play the role of spoiler in their final homestand of the season against the Yankees and Tigers.

New York entered Monday's game just a half-game up on the Orioles in the American League East, while the Tigers entered the day one game back of the White Sox in the AL Central.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he'll use his regular lineups against both New York and Detroit, hoping his club presents a challenge to contending teams.

"We want to finish strong," Gardenhire said. "There's some big-time competition, and we have Detroit again, so it's good to see where you're at as a player."

First baseman Justin Morneau said the Twins have remained focused and are embracing their role as spoiler, but he admitted he'd rather be in contention.

"We're just going out and playing just as we normally would, but you wish you were on the other side of it, playing for a division title and to make the playoffs," Morneau said. "So I'm not sure it adds anything or not, but it's always entertaining playing these guys. I've said all along we're going to battle to the end, so we want to give these teams a tough time."