Minnesota right-hander Jose Berrios has pitched at least 5 2/3 innings in all but one of his 13 starts during a consistent 8-2 season so far. The one blemish during that span came against the Seattle Mariners.
Berrios gets another chance against the Mariners on Wednesday night when the Twins host Seattle in the second game of a three-game series at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Former Twin Tommy Milone (1-1, 3.10 ERA), who allowed just one run and three hits over 5 1/3 innings in his last appearance against Houston, will follow an opener to be determined for Seattle. The left-hander went 12-11 in 40 starts for Minnesota over parts of three seasons (2014-16) and owns an 8-4 record and 5.11 ERA in 24 career games at Target Field.
Milone is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in four career appearances against the Twins, two of them starts.
Berrios (8-2, 3.14 ERA) is just 1-2 with a 4.74 ERA in four career starts against Seattle and shockingly failed to go the required five innings to garner a win in his first start against the Mariners on May 18 in Seattle.
Minnesota jumped out to a 15-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth of an eventual 18-4 victory, clubbing six home runs along the way. But Berrios was pulled after 4 2/3 innings when he gave up four runs in the bottom of fifth and his pitch count climbed to 105.
Berrios has rebounded to win two of his past three starts, including a 5-4 victory at Cleveland on Thursday night when he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits over six innings and a walk while striking out six.
Minnesota has won four of the five meetings with Seattle this season and rallied to win the opener of the three-game series on Tuesday night, 6-5.
Marwin Gonzalez, who had struck out in his three previous at-bats, capped a three-run comeback in the eighth inning with an RBI single to right, driving in Nelson Cruz with the game-winning run.
“That’s what this team has been doing all season,” Gonzalez told Twincities.com. “We never quit. We can score many runs in one inning, that’s why we don’t give up.”
American League batting leader Jorge Polanco had scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Polanco went 3-for-3 with a pair of hustle doubles including one in the eighth that drove in Max Kepler.
“He’s a guy that’s easy to trust out on the field,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said of Polanco, who is hitting .341 with 10 homers, 20 doubles and 35 RBIs. “In general, he makes good decisions over and over again. He’s a good ballplayer with great instincts, good awareness (and) a lot of feel for what he’s doing.”
Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, his league-leading 21st of the season, for Seattle, which saw its bullpen blow a 5-3 lead and waste another quality start by Mike Leake. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings.
“We played a good ballgame, we just didn’t finish the game, and that’s the frustrating thing,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We gave them a chance to get some momentum going and get back into the game, and they capitalized on it. We did some good things, but not enough.”
The loss dropped Seattle, which began the season 13-2, to 10-28 since the end of April.
–Field Level Media
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