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Twins to open against White Sox, will face Cardinals in home opener

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Aug 20, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco (11) celebrates his home run with designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) and outfielder Max Kepler (26) in the eighth inning against Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins will open their 60-game regular-season schedule on July 24 against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field and will play their home opener on July 28 against the St. Louis Cardinals in a year that was slated to start on March 26 but was shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Both the season opener and home opener will start at 7:10 p.m. The 60 games will be played over 66 days between July 24 and Sept. 27 and all will be televised, with 58 on Fox Sports North and two on FOX. The Twins will play three games against the White Sox before heading home for an eight-game homestand that will feature the Cardinals (July 28-29), Cleveland (July 30-Aug. 2) and Pittsburgh (Aug. 3-4).

The Twins will play 40 games against AL Central foes and 20 Interleague contests against NL Central teams. Each AL team is playing within its own division and cross-over games against NL teams in the same division to limit travel.

The Twins will play 10 games apiece against the White Sox (three home/seven away), Cleveland (seven home/three away), the Tigers (six home/four away) and the Royals (four home/six away). The Twins will play six games against the Brewers (three home/three away) and four games apiece against the Pirates and Cardinals (two home/two away for each). The Twins will have three games against the Cubs in Wrigley Field (Sept. 18-20) and play host to Cincinnati for three games (Sept. 25-27) to finish the regular season.

The Twins will play 36 games in 37 days beginning with their home opener, but will get four days off in September.

“You try not to complain because every team is dealing with really unique challenges, and things that you are just not used to dealing with,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “When you really look at our schedule it’s nothing … we can deal with everything on that schedule and we can handle it. We’re going to find ways to make it all work. You try to find ways to take advantage of those off days that you do have and having them clustered at the very end of the year is not what you’re really hoping for. But it doesn’t mean we can’t work through it.

“We have a nice stretch in the middle of 36 games in 37 days, something that you normally wouldn’t see. I think our depth and some of the expanded rosters earlier in the year will help with this. I know we’re also not alone. I think there are other teams that are looking at things that are similar. So, no complaints, we’re going to find a way to  work through it and make it work.”

The Twins will play a July 22 exhibition game against the Cubs at Wrigley before facing the White Sox. That meeting with the Cubs likely will be the only exhibition game the Twins play.

It’s unclear if fans will be allowed into games at Target Field at any point in the year, but the season definitely will begin without fans in attendance.