Twins, Tigers gear up for day-night doubleheader
(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Minnesota takes a four-game winning streak into Saturday's split day-night doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers at Target Field in Minneapolis. Some dominating pitching has been a big key to the recent success for the American League Central Division-leading Twins.
Jake Odorizzi extended his shutout innings streak to 20 in Friday night's 6-0 victory over the Tigers in the series opener, allowing just one hit over seven innings. Twins pitchers have combined for shutouts in three of their past four games, holding opponents to a .116 batting average during that span while compiling a 0.25 ERA.
"The pitching has been exceptional," first-year Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said after the Twins blanked the Tigers on three hits. "It's not just setting the tone but carrying us in a lot of different ways."
"I think we have good game plans going into each game and the big thing is pitch execution," Odorizzi said. "It's what you have to do to be successful. Stuff is great but if you can't locate then that's where things go kind of sideways. We've been doing a really good job of keeping guys off balance and hopefully it continues."
Michael Pineda (2-3, 6.09 ERA) will try and snap a personal three-game losing streak in the opener. Pineda has a 2-2 record with a 4.03 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers including a 4-3 victory on April 13 at Target Field when he gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings, the last time he picked up a win this season.
Detroit, which has been shut out in back-to-back games and five times already this season, will counter with Spencer Turnbull (2-2, 2.31). Turnbull is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two career starts against the Twins but is coming in off an impressive 5-2 victory over Kansas City on Sunday when he allowed just one run on six hits while throwing a career-high seven innings and striking out seven.
Over his past four starts, he has allowed two earned runs and 14 hits over 24 innings.
"The beautiful thing about baseball is there's always tomorrow," said Tigers left fielder Christin Stewart, who drilled a first-inning double off the top of the right field wall in Friday's loss. "We're ready to come out tomorrow with a fire in our butts and go out there and try and win some ballgames."
The nightcap will feature two top pitching prospects as right-hander Kohl Stewart (0-1, 7.50), the fourth overall selection of the 2013 draft, will start for the Twins and go against left-hander Gregory Soto (0-0, 0.00), the 2017 Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the Tigers who will be making his major league debut.
Soto, rated the No. 26 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was recalled from Double-A Erie, where he was 0-1 with a 2.03 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings over three starts.
"If he's able to control his emotions and not try to overthrow the ball, and do what he did to get here, he'll be fine," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB.com. "If he tries to get out of whack and throw it 98 miles per hour, he'll probably have a little bit of an issue. The only thing we can do is stick him out there and see what happens."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 11, 2019