Late All-Star Game addition Jose Berrios gets a final tune-up before the showcase performance when he tries to pitch the Minnesota Twins to a series win Thursday afternoon against the host Oakland Athletics.
The Twins needed 12 innings Wednesday night to get even in the three-game set, using a Mitch Garver RBI single off A’s closer Blake Treinen to provide the difference in a 4-3 win.
Oakland had won the series opener 8-6 on Tuesday.
Berrios (8-4, 2.89 ERA) found out Wednesday that he had been named to replace teammate Jake Odorizzi on the American League All-Star team. Odorizzi had to leave Tuesday’s series opener with a blister on his right middle finger.
“We’re all happy for him,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Berrios before Wednesday’s game. “This is a guy that works extremely hard. He’s done it out on the field. He’s performed all year long. He’s been great. You add in the fact that on top of the production, he’s a guy that we lean on in a lot of ways, that he’s just a phenomenal teammate and a guy that everybody pulls for. It’s just a great feeling for everyone. He truly, truly deserves it.”
Berrios hopes to find his All-Star form after going winless in his last four starts. He’s given up 14 hits in 14 1/3 innings his last two times out, both on the road, against the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.
The 25-year-old has faced the A’s only twice in his career, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He didn’t get a decision in his only previous outing in Oakland, a 7-6 loss last September.
Khris Davis and Matt Chapman have homered off Berrios in his 10 2/3 career innings against the A’s.
Berrios will be opposed by A’s rookie right-hander Tanner Anderson (0-3, 7.13), who likewise has not been on top of his game in recent outings.
After allowing just four runs and six hits over 11 innings in his first two starts for the A’s this season, he’s been bombed for 10 runs and 15 hits in just 6 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
Anderson has never faced the Twins.
The A’s could use an improved outing from the 26-year-old as they’ve exhausted their bullpen in the first two games of the tightly contested series.
With interim closer Liam Hendricks having already pitched two innings in the game, Oakland rushed Blake Treinen back into action in his first day off the injured list, sending him out to pitch the 12th inning of Wednesday’s tie game.
Treinen retired just one of the five men he faced, allowing Garver’s tie-breaking hit before exiting with one out and the bases loaded.
Oakland’s eighth pitcher of the game, Brian Schlitter, bailed out his star teammate by getting C.J. Cron to hit into an inning-ending double play.
A’s manager Bob Melvin made it clear Wednesday that Treinen will be eased back into action, making it unlikely he will be used in the series finale.
“We want to make sure he’s healthy,” he explained. “You can do all the minor league rehabbing you want. It’s different when you get to the big league level.”
Treinen threw 22 pitches in his five-batter stint. Only 10 were strikes.
–Field Level Media
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