May 24, 2014

Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Vogelsong have turned around their poor starts to 2014.

They'll look to continue their hot stretches as the San Francisco Giants try to remain unbeaten against the AL on Saturday night when they face the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Sandoval had a .171 average with two homers and six RBIs through the first 34 games, but has batted .360 in 13 games since. He's hit three homers while driving in six runs over the last five.

The third baseman connected for a three-run shot in the first inning Friday and the Giants (30-18) went on to a 6-2 win over Minnesota (23-22).

San Francisco has won all four interleague games this year and five straight dating to 2013, their longest such streak since taking seven in a row in 2011.

A 1.40 ERA has keyed the recent success against AL foes, and Vogelsong (2-2, 3.62 ERA) will try to deliver another strong Giants pitching performance.

The right-hander owns a 1.62 ERA over his last five starts, but has just a 2-1 record to show for it due to nine total runs of support.

While Vogelsong could use some help from the bats, his recent outings have been in stark contrast to his first four starts, during which he went 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA.

"You have to believe that you're going to turn it around and get it going," Vogelsong said. "That's what my hope was. You have to believe that. If you don't, you're behind the 8-ball to begin with.

"When they believe in you, too, that goes a long way. That helps a lot."

Vogelsong has gone 0-3 with a 3.97 ERA his last six interleague starts, but has received four total runs of support and never more than one in any of those games.

That was the case April 27, when Vogelsong allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings but didn't get a decision in a 4-1 win over Cleveland.

The Twins are trying to bounce back from just their third loss in 10 games. They'll need to be better offensively after going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

"We were a little sloppy defensively and we missed plenty of opportunities to get some hits," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Brian Dozier is doing his part at the plate, hitting .375 with six RBIs and seven runs in eight games. The second baseman had a double among his two hits Friday.

Joe Mauer drove in Dozier on a triple while getting two hits. Mauer has a .452 average during a 16-game hitting streak against the NL.

Minnesota's Samuel Deduno (1-2, 3.53) had his scheduled start flipped with that of Ricky Nolasco, who is now slated to pitch Sunday.

Deduno has gone 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA in three starts after going from the bullpen to the rotation to replace an ineffective Mike Pelfrey, who's on the disabled list with a groin injury.

The right-hander's latest performance was his best yet, as he yielded two runs and two hits in six innings of a 4-3 win over Seattle last Saturday.

Deduno's only appearance against the Giants was one scoreless inning of relief for San Diego on April 6, 2011.

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