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Twins seek rebound win over Royals

Sportsnaut
Apr 13, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Chris Paddack (20) throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paddack makes his second start for the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, and it’s almost guaranteed that the right-hander will have a better chance of earning a win than in his debut.

Paddack (0-1, 6.75 ERA) and the Twins will face the Royals in Kansas City for the second game of a three-game series. He’ll face Kansas City left-hander Daniel Lynch (0-1, 10.80 ERA).

The Royals are looking for their second straight over the Twins, third straight overall, after taking a 4-3 victory Tuesday night. Salvador Perez hit two home runs for his second multi-homer game of the season and 14th of his career. Hunter Dozier’s home run proved to be the game-winner.

In his first start after being traded by the Padres to the Twins April 7, Paddack was opposite Clayton Kershaw, who pitched seven perfect innings before being removed from the game. He knew it would be a rough night to get a win, even before the game started.

“It’s hard to put up runs when Kershaw’s going perfect through seven,” he joked Tuesday. “The first time pitching in cold weather in Minnesota, it was good to get that under my belt. My biggest challenge is not dwelling on the negative. Don’t pick out all the bad things I did. You can’t let things drag you down.”

Paddack allowed three runs on six hits in four innings, but even one run would have been too many.

“I’ve been working on some analytical stuff that I need to improve on,” he said. “Being around (pitching coach) Wes (Johnson), he’s full of energy, kind of like a firecracker. He gives you all the confidence in the world. He’s shown me a couple of mechanical things with my lower half, and I’m going to take them into the game tomorrow. I’m super excited.”

Lynch is looking to build on his first start as well, and he isn’t worried about his statistics after one outing.

“ERA after one start doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “If your ERA at the end of the year is 2.50, then 10.80 after one start won’t matter.”

He gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings. The problem wasn’t finding the strike zone, as he struck out seven Cardinals hitters and walked only one. His problem was finding the middle of the strike zone.

“There’s a fine line,” he said. “You don’t want to try to get too fine to where you’re nibbling. I still want to attack. I think my stuff is at a place where if I attack, good things are going to happen. These are the best hitters in the world. No matter how good your stuff is you have to make quality pitches.

“I want to increase the number of quality pitches. I feel like a majority of pitches were quality pitches, but there were some that missed in the middle that ruined the start. I hope that I can keep on attacking and getting ahead. And I hope I can get ahead and not give up the homers.”

–Field Level Media