After snapping a six-game losing streak with a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over the White Sox, the Minnesota Twins will turn to right-hander Jose Berrios in the rubber game of their three-game series with American League Central co-leader Chicago on Wednesday night in Minneapolis.
Berrios (2-3, 4.75 ERA) has endured a disappointing start to his season, but he has been dominated the White Sox in his career, compiling a 11-2 record and 2.76 ERA in 15 career starts.
Chicago, which rallied for an 8-5 win Monday in the series opener to take over sole possession of first place for one day, will counter with Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 9.00 ERA). The right-hander will be making his fourth start of the season.
Lopez has struggled badly against the Twins in his career, compiling a 1-5 record and 6.48 ERA in eight career starts and allowing nine home runs in just 41 2/3 innings.
Lopez didn’t make it out of the first inning in his first start of the season, which came against Minnesota on July 26. He allowed three hits and four runs, including a grand slam to Jake Cave, in two-thirds of an inning of a 14-2 loss.
Both teams could get their starting third basemen back for the contest.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson has missed 27 games with a strained right calf.
The 2015 American League MVP and reigning National League Comeback Player of the Year, after hitting 37 homers and driving in 94 runs for Atlanta in 2019, was batting just .182 with one home run and two RBIs in 22 at-bats at the time of the injury on July 31 against Cleveland.
“Josh is doing great,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Tuesday. “I would expect to see him in a matter of a day, I would say, or two. But we’re gonna continue to just keep an eye on him.”
The White Sox (22-14), who enter Wednesday night’s contest tied with Cleveland (22-14) for first place, 1 1/2 games ahead of the defending champion Twins (21-16), hope to have Yoan Moncada back after he sat out three games with a sore left hamstring.
“There’s an optimistic hope he’ll be back in there (Wednesday night), but I can’t guarantee it,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.
Moncada is batting .254 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.
The Twins got starting center fielder Byron Buxton back Tuesday night from a stint on the 10-day injured list caused by left shoulder inflammation, and Buxton wasted little time making a big impact.
Buxton made a highlight-reel catch on Edwin Encarnacion’s towering fly ball to left-center leading off the sixth inning, reaching up and hitting some flowers in the flower box behind the fence while robbing the White Sox DH of a home run.
An inning later, Buxton’s two-out single drove in Nelson Cruz with what would prove to be the winning run.
“When I checked the lineup today and saw Byron Buxton in center field, I said, ‘Whoa, this is going to be a good game,'” said Twins starter Michael Pineda, who gave up two runs on six hits in six innings in his first 2020 start.
“(Buxton) has a tendency to just do things that point you toward winning games,” Baldelli said. “He makes very big plays, very meaningful plays, offensively and defensively … It was a big game for him and a great first day back.”
–Field Level Media