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The Twins began their stint of facing Cleveland eight times through 10 days on Tuesday, a matchup between the top two teams in the American League Central.

And while the Twins entered with a one-game lead, that wasn't technically an accurate comparison. Flukes of the schedule mean the Twins (38-30) have played six more games than the Guardians (34-28).

"I'm not going to complain about it as I sit here right now, because we've played a lot more games than some other teams," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "… We've gone through a couple of these runs already this year. More so than really anyone else. Is that going to help us going forward? I don't know."

Baldelli pointed to the grueling nature of the schedule to begin with, which just compounded after the season started late because of the lockout and those beginning series had to squeeze back into the mix. And then weather always impacts a couple of games here and there, forcing teams to sacrifice off days or grind through a doubleheader for makeups.

The Twins, for example, worked through a stretch of 18 games in 17 days from the end of May through the beginning of June. Starting against the Twins on Tuesday, Cleveland began its longest run of the year so far, playing 18 games in 16 days. The Twins don't have it quite so bad this time but are also currently starting a 17-game, 16-day slog.

Baldelli said these trudges aren't fun or easy for any team. And that's especially true now that MLB implemented the long-delayed 13-pitcher roster limit.

"We are going to have to push some of our guys," Baldelli said of bullpen pitchers having to pitch more often. "The starters are going to have to go in these games a little longer than they have. … We might have to look at everyone at one point or another for some more innings. I think there are some guys that are capable of throwing somewhat more than maybe they have to this point. Some guys have thrown a lot, and we probably won't push them any longer. It's going to be a little different for each guy."

Because of the volume of games with fewer pitchers to manage them, Baldelli said the league has to make a change in the future.

"The players don't complain about it. But they know," Baldelli said. "They know that it's not natural to play all those games and be traveling on off-days and to have seven doubleheaders, 10 doubleheaders over the course of the year, whatever it's going to turn into for some teams."

Injury updates

Josh Winder hasn't pitched for the Twins since May 17, as he's been on the injured list for a right shoulder impingement. That troublesome shoulder ended his 2021 minor league season early, though Winder was able to start this season with the Twins first as a long reliever and eventually as part of the starting rotation.

He has made two rehab starts for the Saints on June 10 and this past Thursday for a total of four innings with three earned runs and five hits. He'll have another outing Wednesday for St. Paul in Buffalo, planning to go 70 pitches.

"We're going to see where he's at after the outing," Baldelli said of Winder rejoining the rotation. "We're not going to commit to any one specific plan with him. I think there's a few different ways we could use Josh in the near future."

Jorge Polanco, who went on the IL for the first time in his career Thursday with low back tightness, might not return as soon as his 10 days out have expired. Baldelli said the second baseman had not restarted full baseball activities.

Top prospect Royce Lewis had his second right knee surgery in as many years Tuesday. Lewis first had a torn ACL repaired in the offseason ahead of the 2021 campaign. His latest surgery was for a partially torn ACL and done with a different surgeon in the Dallas area. Lewis will remain there for the next week or two to recover before figuring out his next rehab steps.

Lewis reinjured his knee playing in center field for the first time at the MLB level, crashing into the wall while making a catch.

"Everything seems to have gone well," Baldelli said. "… It's good news, so we'll take that, and then hopefully get him back here and can see him up here."