MINNEAPOLIS -- Liam Hendriks may start for the Twins next weekend.
Thursday's optioning of Cole De Vries to Triple-A Rochester left a vacant spot in the Twins' rotation. Monday's off-day means they don't have to find an immediate replacement, but the Twins are currently without a scheduled starter for their home game against Milwaukee on Saturday.
Hendriks appears the mostly likely candidate after another impressive outing for Rochester on Saturday, with 8 2/3 shutout innings against Indianapolis, allowing just three hits while striking out 10.
"Hendriks threw the ball really well last night," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The outfielders did not field a ball. I don't know if I've ever heard that before. That's pretty good."
Hendriks struggled in four starts with Minnesota earlier this season, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA. The right-hander has rebounded since being sent back to Rochester, posting a 5-0 record and a 1.90 ERA in seven starts.
- 142 wins
- 110 wins
"He was lost," Gardenhire said. "The last outing that he had up here, he was screaming at himself in the dugout. He needed to take it easy. Go down and get some confidence. Right now, it sounds like he got it."
Gardenhire also mentioned Jeff Manship as a candidate to start. The 27-year-old has allowed one run over 3 1/3 innings in three relief appearances for the Twins. De Vries is not eligible to return Saturday because the Twins must wait at least 10 days after sending him down to call him back to the Major League roster.
"We don't know yet for sure," Gardenhire said. "We were just talking about possibilities."
Twins offense on quite a run lately
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins offense has been among the best in baseball since mid-May, ranking second behind the White Sox in runs scored dating back to May 16.
Entering Sunday, the Twins had scored 123 runs in 22 games while the White Sox ranked first with 132 runs in 22 games.
It's been a marked turnaround, as the Twins had scored the second-fewest runs in baseball through May 15.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said a big reason for the improvement has been the production of players in the middle of the lineup, such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham, while others such as Jamey Carroll, Denard Span and Ben Revere have been getting on base at a good clip. Trevor Plouffe is tied for third in the Majors in homers with eight over that same span.
"They've got plenty of at-bats in the Major Leagues, so it's up to the table setters to get on for them," Gardenhire said. "And they've done a good job of that, rolling over from the bottom to the top with Jamey Carroll getting on like 33 or 34 percent of the time.
"And Plouffe is swinging good. It's good to see them roll over with Span and Revere getting on base an awful lot, too."
It's also helped that the Twins are hitting .302 with runners in scoring position since May 16, after hitting just .229 in those situations leading up to that date.
"We just didn't do that well with runners in scoring position, but now we're getting these guys in," Revere said. "We're having a lot better approaches with runners in scoring position. So if we keep that up, we can be a good team."
Revere riding hot streak at the plate
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ben Revere has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on May 17, as he ranks seventh in the American League in batting average since his callup.
Revere, who was batting .273 before being optioned to Rochester on April 15, has hit .342 over his last 19 games.
The outfielder is now batting .330 with five doubles, two triples, and eight stolen bases in 25 games this season.
"I feel a little bit more comfortable," said Revere, who hit .267 with a team-high 34 stolen bases in 134 games as a rookie last season. "I'm seeing pitches I want and seeing the ball a lot better. I'm finding the right holes.
"Every hitter can say they're more comfortable when that happens. But it's just one of those things where everything is going my way and hopefully it'll keep going."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.