MINNEAPOLIS — For years, the Twins served as the Yankees’ personal punching bags. 

They may not be able to count on that alone any longer. 

The Twins broke that hex last year — winning the season series against the Yankees for the first time since 2001, the year Anthony Volpe was born — and are now entering the first meeting this season as the hottest team in baseball. 

Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge and the Yankees next face off with the Twins. Getty Images

Entering the three-game series that begins Tuesday at Target Field, the Twins have won 17 of their last 20 games, keyed by a 12-game winning streak in which they beat up on the White Sox, Angels and Red Sox.

And since then, they have won series against the Mariners and Blue Jays as well, looking poised to give the Yankees a formidable challenge this week. 

The Yankees, meanwhile, have won seven of their last nine games and 10 of their first 13 series to reach 12 games above .500 — higher than they were at any point last season, when their high-water mark was 11 games above .500 on June 4. 

 Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa and the Twins have won 17 of their last 20 games. AP

Aaron Judge’s two-run home run Sunday was his fourth in the last seven games and seventh in the last 18 as he continues to break out of his slow start and look more like Aaron Judge. 

“That’s inevitable,” manager Aaron Boone said. 

After batting .174 with a .645 OPS through his first 23 games, Judge is batting .313 with a 1.147 OPS over his last 19 games.

Even his outs during the Rays series were loud. 

For the first time, MLB’s Baseball Savant released bat-speed data on Monday, and topping the list was Giancarlo Stanton. 

The Yankees’ slugger has lost some production over the years, but he still leads all major leaguers with an average bat speed of 80.6 mph. 

Two other Yankees — Judge (76.5) and Juan Soto (76.1) — ranked in the top 10. 

Alex Verdugo has the 12th-slowest bat speed at 67.4 mph, but he makes up for it by having the third-shortest swing. 

The All-Star break just got (potentially) slightly longer for the Yankees.

Their July 14 game against the Orioles in Baltimore — the last one before the break — has been moved up to an 11:35 a.m. start as part of MLB’s new Sunday morning deal with Roku. … The Yankees stayed in Tampa on Sunday night — allowing their players who have homes in the area an extra night with family — before flying to Minnesota on Monday’s off day.

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