Minnesota right-hander Jake Odorizzi will put his 20-inning scoreless streak on the line Wednesday afternoon when the Twins face the Los Angeles Angels in the rubber game of a three-game series at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Odorizzi (5-2), who is tied for second in the American League with a 2.32 ERA, has won five consecutive starts. He allowed just one hit over seven innings in his latest outing, a 6-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night, when he also retired the final 20 batters he faced.
“(Odorizzi), pretty incredible, throwing the ball about as well and as dominant as anyone could possibly be,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said afterward.
However, Odorizzi has struggled during his career against Los Angeles. He is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in five career starts against the Angels.
Los Angeles, heading into the final game of a 11-game road trip that started in Monterrey, Mexico, and covered over 6,200 miles, will counter with right-hander Trevor Cahill (2-3, 6.35 ERA).
Cahill is coming off his first win in five starts, a 8-3 victory at Baltimore on Friday that saw him allow two runs and four hits over six innings.
Cahill is 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA in eight career appearances (six starts) against Minnesota, including 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in three games (two starts) at Target Field.
The Twins, who dropped Monday night’s opener 5-4, bounced back to even the series on Tuesday night with a potentially costly 4-3 victory.
The Angels had a chance to tie it in the eighth on Brian Goodwin’s two-out single, but Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton threw out Shohei Ohtani in a close play at the plate with a throw clocked at 98.6 mph.
“Came within six inches of tying it,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.
Minnesota catcher Mitch Garver, who hit his ninth home run of the season earlier in the game, was hit on the end of his left foot by a sliding Ohtani at the plate and left the game with what Baldelli called a high ankle sprain. Further evaluation will be done on Wednesday.
“I think Mitch is probably hurting a little bit,” Baldelli said. “That was a pretty tough situation. It’s a big guy sliding into him. We know there’s going to be contact on plays like that. …
“We’ll probably know a lot more tomorrow. Probably not as much pain as I was expecting (for Garver to be in), but anything beyond that is speculation.”
Buxton, who drove in what proved to be the decisive run with his major-league-leading 18th double, charged the sinking liner but had to pull up at the last second and field it on a hop. Still he managed to gather himself quick enough to unleash a laser to get Ohtani, who was running on the play from second base.
“It took kind of perfect execution to get Ohtani,” Baldelli said. “He can really run. One thing about that guy that most people wouldn’t really know is that beyond everything else that he does is that he’s also one of the fastest players in baseball. He’s like a gazelle out there.”
Ohtani said, “It was a bang-bang play, and I felt maybe if I had a better secondary lead, or if I had another step, I could have been safe. I’ll try and work on that from now on.”
–Field Level Media
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