Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers doubleheader to start the second half of the season, take two.
After the Twins and Tigers were scheduled to play their first post All-Star break games against each other on Friday, Mother Nature had other ideas with daylong rain that postponed the doubleheader, so the teams will get ready for a pair of seven-inning games on Saturday in Detroit.
It will be the continuation of what were supposed to be eight consecutive games between the teams sandwiched around the All-Star game, with Minnesota winning all four at home last week.
“It’s rare you play somebody back-to-back like this,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “Usually, you have a series in between. I don’t love it in general, but in this instance, it’s easy for us to forget last weekend because of the All-Star break. At least, that’s going to be my sales pitch. We don’t want to carry that mess that we had in Minnesota with us into this home series.”
The All-Star break was more than a chance for Twins manager Rocco Baldelli to recharge for the second half of the season.
Baldelli on Tuesday got married to longtime girlfriend Allie Genoa.
Now, he and the Twins hope to continue the success they had against the Tigers last week.
Not only that, but Minnesota hopes to revive a season that started with high expectations after the Twins won the AL Central last year.
The Twins entered Saturday in fourth place in the division, 14 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t bounce back and do something magical,” Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I think we all feel that way.”
In Saturday’s first game, the pitching matchup will be Minnesota’s Charlie Barnes vs. Detroit’s Jose Urena.
It will be the major league debut for Barnes, a left-hander who went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 58 innings for Triple-A St. Paul.
Urena has struggled mightily since getting off to a good start for the Tigers.
In his past six starts, Urena has given up 30 earned runs and 37 hits in 22 2/3 innings pitched.
In an effort to give Urena a chance to recharge, Hinch skipped his scheduled start in Minnesota last week. Urena is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in two starts against the Twins.
Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda (4-3, 3.66 ERA) is expected to start against Detroit’s Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.31 ERA) in the second game.
Maeda struck out seven and allowed just two hits in five innings during his start against Detroit on July 9. In six starts against the Tigers, Maeda is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA.
Alexander is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in four career appearances – one start – against the Twins. This will be his third start of the season in what will be a bullpen game for the Tigers.
Detroit enters percentage points ahead of Minnesota for third place in the AL Central.
Instead of a four-game series this weekend with a doubleheader on Friday, the teams will play a three-game series and make up the other game that was supposed to be played on Aug. 30.
–Field Level Media