- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Twins start the second half of the season with a tough task at Houston.

They’ll face the American League-leading Astros for three games beginning Friday night. Right-hander Jose Berrios takes the mound for the Twins in the opener, opposite Astros righty Charlie Morton.

Houston leads the AL West at 60-29. The Astros swept the Twins in Minnesota in May by a combined score of 40-16 over three games.

The Twins reached the All-Star break at 45-43, a 13-game improvement over the same point last year that has them in second place in the AL Central behind Cleveland. This is only the second time in the past seven seasons that Minnesota has been above .500 at the break.

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