After losing two out of three in Houston last week, the Minnesota
Twins have a chance to win the return series on Thursday afternoon
at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The Twins, behind eight shutout innings from Martin Perez and a
tape-measure home run by Jonathan Schoop, won their second game of
the four-game series on Wednesday night, 6-2, bouncing back from an
ugly 11-0 loss on Tuesday.
Minnesota won the series opener 1-0 on Monday as Jake Odorizzi
outdueled Justin Verlander.
Jose Berrios (4-1, 2.97 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three
starts at Target Field this season, takes the mound for the Twins
on Thursday. He will be opposed by Brad Peacock (2-1, 3.67).
Berrios has won three consecutive starts since losing 2-1 at
Philadelphia on April 7. He has struck out 25 batters and walked
two in 20 1/3 innings in his three home starts while holding
opponents to a .176 batting average.
Berrios, who didn’t face the Astros last week in Houston, is 1-3
with an 8.36 ERA in four career starts against the Astros. He comes
in off a 9-2 home win over Baltimore on Saturday during which he
gave up two runs on seven hits over six innings while striking out
Berrios, who felt the Orioles were sitting on his curveball during
a 6-5 win in Camden Yards seven days earlier that saw him allow
three home runs, decided to use his changeup to set up his fastball
in the rematch.
“(The changeup is) what we’ve been working real hard on this past
offseason, during spring training,” Berrios told MLB.com. “We’re
still working on it. I feel really proud and happy when I go out
there during the game and throw it. I’ve seen really good results
with my changeup, so I feel great. The only thing I have to do is
keep working on that and trying to be more consistent.”
Peacock is 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA in eight career games (four starts)
against Minnesota, including 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in four games (two
starts) at Target Field. He was charged with the loss in Houston’s
9-5 defeat to the Twins on April 22 at Minute Maid Park, allowing
three runs on six hits in five innings, including a solo home run
to Jason Castro.
After the Thursday afternoon contest, the Astros will fly to
Monterrey, Mexico, where they will play a two-game series with the
Los Angeles Angels on Saturday and Sunday at Estadio de Beisbol
Monterrey, home of the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League.
The Astros will be able to add a 26th man to their roster for the
two games, but it must be a position player.
“Originally, I was really hoping to add a pitcher because we’re
only carrying 12, and the ideal thing would be to add the extra
pitcher,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “MLB has let us know it’s
against the rules. You’re only allowed to add a position player,
which I don’t really understand why. That’s the rules, and we’ll
play by it. We’ll see.”
Among the top candidates to make the trip are outfielders Derek
Fisher, Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw plus catcher Garrett Stubbs,
all of whom are playing at Triple-A Round Rock.