The Minnesota Twins begin a 10-game homestand against their division foes with a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox.
Six games. Nine games into the 2017 season, and the Minnesota Twins are six games above last year’s pace. While they lost their first series this year to the Detroit Tigers, winning the getaway game yesterday put the Twins at 6-3 on the year.
It will take a while to get the bad taste of last year’s horrid start (0-9) and record-breaking 103 losses out of the fans’ mouths. But the team itself doesn’t seem to be feeling hungover from it at all.
Even while dropping the first two games of the Tigers series, the Twins looked like a team ready to contest every game on their schedule. Hector Santiago got out-dueled in a 2-1 loss, before Kyle Gibson surrendered a grand slam in a five-run inning – his only, albeit a big, mistake – allowing the Tigers to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3.
Easily missed in the two losses was an outstanding pitching performance by Santiago: 6.1 IP, just three hits allowed – one of them a two-run home run that proved to be the difference.
In Wednesday’s loss, Gibson departed after four innings, a little shell-shocked from the grand slam. But the bullpen kept the Tigers off the scoreboard for the last five innings, giving the Twins the chance to come back.
While the comeback never materialized, another stellar outing by Tyler Duffey gives the Twins a great option for a fifth starter or someone to spot start in case of a minor injury to another starter. He’s allowed just four hits in his six innings of work this season, with three strikeouts to just one walk allowed.
This weekend, the Twins will return to Target Field for an Easter weekend series against Chicago, a week after taking two of three from them at Guaranteed Rate Field. The marquee matchup will be on Saturday, as Ervin Santana and Jose Quintana will have a rematch from last Sunday’s 4-1 Twins win.
Friday Night Game
7:10 PM Target Field
TV: Fox Sports North Plus
Saturday Day Game
Jose Quintana (0-2, 6.17 ERA) vs Ervin Santana (2-0, 0.69 ERA)
1:10 PM Target Field
TV: Fox Sports North
Sunday Day Game
James Shields (1-0, 1.69 ERA) vs Hector Santiago (1-1, 2.38 ERA)
3:10 Target Field
TV: Fox Sports North