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Twins hope to have Byron Buxton back in starting lineup vs. Rockies

Sportsnaut
Jun 13, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Chris Archer (17) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

After scoring a total of just one run in their last two games, the Minnesota Twins hope to have center fielder Byron Buxton back in the starting lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies in Minneapolis.

Buxton is tied for fourth in the American League with 19 home runs in just 194 at-bats and also is tied for the team lead in RBIs with 33. But he hasn’t started a game since going 0-for-4 in Tuesday night’s 6-5 loss to Cleveland because of chronic tendinitis in his right knee, an injury that leads to swelling.

Buxton did pinch-hit and struck out in the eighth inning of Friday night’s 1-0 loss to Colorado but didn’t play in the field as Minnesota tries to keep from putting their Gold Glove outfielder on the injured list.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said before Friday’s loss he was hopeful Buxton would be back in the full lineup for Saturday night’s contest and that he was “showing a lot of improvement.

“Getting him lined up to play (Saturday) and getting him ready for the week to come I think is on our mind right now,” Baldelli said.

Following this weekend’s series with Colorado, the Twins will play five games in four days at Cleveland. The Guardians lead the American League Central by three percentage points (.545 to .542) over Minnesota.

Getting Buxton back could spark the Twins, who managed only three hits and were shut out for the 10th time this season in Friday night’s series opener. That came on the heels of a 1-0 victory over the Guardians on Thursday and marked the first time since Sept. 13-15, 1971, that Minnesota played in consecutive 1-0 games.

“It’s baseball, you know?” said Dylan Bundy, who was the hard-luck loser on Friday after allowing one run on four hits over six innings. “Sometimes it’s tough to score runs. … I let one run too many score, I guess.”

German Marquez held the Twins to three hits over 7 2/3 innings to pick up the win. Daniel Bard retired the final four batters, including Max Kepler on a routine grounder with runners on first and third with two outs in the eighth, for his 15th save.

“You know I was praying to get that out and to get this game,” Marquez said. “It’s exciting. I was cheering for (Bard) to get that out.”

Marquez improved to 3-0 with a 3.71 ERA in his last four starts. Colorado has won all four of those contests.

“I feel like this is my time of year,” he said.

Right-hander Antonio Senzatela (3-3, 4.42 ERA) will make his first career start against the Twins on Saturday and will be opposed by right-hander Chris Archer (1-3, 3.44).

Senzatela won his last start on Sunday against San Diego, allowing one run, a solo homer by Luke Voit, on six hits over six innings in a 8-3 victory.

Archer is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three career starts against the Rockies. He picked up the loss in his last start on Sunday, a 7-1 setback at Arizona where he allowed two runs on three hits over four innings.

–Field Level Media