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Twins players and personnel remember Killebrew

After grabbing victories in each of their past three games, which included a two-game series in Oakland against the A's, the Twins enter Interleague Play once again looking to build on their success against the National League.

"I think winning a couple games gives you a better feeling and a little more confidence in your abilities," said Twins manager Rod Gardenhire, whose club had lost nine straight before the winning streak began. "When you go through stretches like we did, it starts to feel like everything [bad] that can happen will happen.

"So you have to get out of that mind-set, and it's not easy to. So after winning a couple ballgames, it's really helped us. So we'll try to build off that, and getting people back healthy would be wonderful."

But before the Twins try to extend their streak against the D-backs in Arizona, they'll pay homage to Twins legend and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, whose funeral services are set for 10 a.m. MT on Friday.

"Once you get to the ballpark, you have a job to do and you do it," Gardenhire said. "Has it been hard? Absolutely. He was a good friend. So for our fans and everybody involved, it's been very tough. You try to separate that and put your mind-set toward the team and what we need to do. But's not been easy. And that's an understatement."

Once the services end, it will be back to business for the Twins, who have gone 140-106 all-time in Interleague Play, including a 43-19 stretch from 2006-09.

The D-backs, meanwhile, are 22 games under .500 all-time in Interleague Play, including a 6-9 mark last season. But while they may be off to a slow start this season, the D-Backs have won of five their past six games, including a two-game sweep the Braves, heading into Friday.

"I know we feel good today about that game," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after Thursday's 2-1 victory. "It was probably the best game we played this year. For the most part, we executed just about everything that we worked on in Spring Training and we got a lot of hustle, a lot of grit and showed a lot of drive and determination.

The D-Backs will hope to ride that momentum on the arm of Ian Kennedy, who has struck out eight batters and allowed only four hits in each of his past two starts.

Twins: Duensing heads to new territory in Interleague play
Twins pitcher Brian Duensing will start his first career Interleague game against the D-backs on Friday in Arizona. The right-hander has made eight career appearances over that time, but has not started.

Duensing, who experienced his first bad outing of the season on Sunday in a loss to the Blue Jays, has thrown 8 1/3 career innings in Interleague Play. He's allowed two runs on five hits with five strikeouts over that span.

This will be Duensing's first career appearance against the D-Backs.

D-backs: Burroughs returns to big leagues
Infielder Sean Burroughs has returned to the Majors after a five-year absence.

The infielder was called up from Triple-A Reno to take the roster spot of Melvin Mora, who was placed on the bereavement list.

Burroughs was a first-round draft pick of the Padres in 1998 and also spent time with the Rays and in the Mariners' Minor League system. He was signed by the D-backs in the offseason.

"It's been a long journey, and I've been through a lot," Burroughs said. "But God willing, this organization has given me the opportunity to come back and play Major League baseball."

Worth noting
• Public funeral services for Killebrew will be held at Christ's Church of the Valley in Peoria, Ariz. The family is urging fans to send donations to the Harmon Killebrew Foundation "Legacy Program" at P.O. Box 14550, Scottsdale, Ariz., 85267 or by visiting HarmonKillebrewFoundation.org.

• D-backs reliever Sam Demel has not allowed an earned run in his past 15 games, a span of 10 1/3 innings. He has held opponents scoreless in five consecutive games and in 17 of his 20 games overall. • D-backs reliever Joe Paterson has matched the record for D-backs rookies with 18 scoreless outings, a span of 9 1/3 innings pitched, to begin his career. Doug Slaten also accomplished the feat in 2006.

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