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Twins look to remain on roll vs. Tigers

Sportsnaut
May 5, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Chris Archer (17) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins swept a three-game home series from the Detroit Tigers last month. They’ll look to duplicate that feat beginning Monday.

The Twins have won four straight and six of their last seven games. They swept a three-game road series at Kansas City over the weekend, including a 7-6 triumph on Sunday.

Minnesota trailed 6-0 heading into the eighth inning. The Twins scored five runs in the eighth, then added two more in the ninth to pull out the victory.

“That’s one that is not going to escape my mind for a long time,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “They had all their good arms out there. The guys just kept fighting and the at-bats were excellent. You don’t see games like that too often. It’s one that I think I’ll always remember in some shape or form.”

Gio Urshela capped the rally in his lone at-bat with an RBI single.

“There was good energy in the dugout,” Urshela said. “I was getting ready the last three innings, just waiting for the opportunity.”

The first-place Twins now get a chance to pad their division lead against the Tigers, who are tied with the Royals for last place in the American League Central.

Chris Archer (0-1, 4.10 ERA) will start the opener of the three-game series for Minnesota. Archer has pitched in short bursts in each of his seven appearances this season, never going longer than 4 1/3 innings. In his last outing on Monday, he limited Oakland to one run on two hits in four innings.

He’s made 11 career starts against Detroit, posting a 2-3 record and 3.66 ERA.

He’ll be opposed by Elvin Rodriguez, who will be making his first career start after being recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Rodriguez gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings in an April 10 relief appearance against the Chicago White Sox.

Rodriguez has a 2-1 record and 3.57 ERA in six appearances with the Mud Hens, including five starts. He tossed five scoreless innings against Louisville on May 15.

The injury-riddled Tigers haven’t had a lot to cheer about this season but they snapped a three-game losing streak on Sunday with a spirited 4-2 win at Cleveland. Detroit turned four double plays as it grabbed the lead in the fifth inning and held on.

“We played pretty well all the way around,” manager AJ Hinch said. “From the beginning of the game, we punched first, we were able to hold them off in the first inning, played a little defense, got a tack-on run — there was a lot to like today.”

Javier Baez hit his third home run of the season in the eighth inning to give the Tigers some insurance. Baez is batting just .207 with an on-base percentage of .244. Perhaps the long ball could be a precursor to a hot streak for the team’s prized free agent acquisition.

“He’s really hung in there,” Hinch said. “That was a key run. The way the momentum can go in this ballpark and the emotions can go for a team that’s been struggling. We’re trying to get some spark to get something going. That tack-on run was huge.”

–Field Level Media