Minnesota will try to end a season-high five-game skid at home as their four-game series with the slumping Milwaukee Brewers resumes on Wednesday. All venues in Interleague are taking the back to back route featuring home and away matchups split by 4 games. Minnesota (21-28) so far has taken the first 2 games of this series and is showing signs of coming out of their funk after dropping 10 straight.
The Twins' Samuel Deduno (0-1, 10.13 ERA) is set to make his second start of the season after returning from a groin injury. He gave up six runs and nine hits in six innings of a 6-0 loss at Detroit on Friday. The Twins moved Tim Wood to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Deduno. He'll be facing a Brewers lineup that is right in the middle of the pack hitting about .256 with 52 HR averaging about 4 runs per game. Hitting comes in bunches for these guys as a whole, but inconsistency at the plate and on the mound has Milwaukee winning just 19 of their first 50 games so far this season, last in the NL Central. Carlos Gomez (.326 10 25) has been the provider of power leading the Brew Crew in HR while second year player Jean Segura leads the NL in hitting (.365) along with 8 HR and 22 RBI..He matched the team mark for hits in a game, tied most recently by Kevin Reimer on Aug. 24, 1993 by going 6 for 7 last night. Ryan Braun has since returned from a brief break due to an injured thumb and is hitting .309 with 9 HR and a club leading 34 RBI. Yuniesky Betancourt (.225 8 26) has also been clutch at times but has also let various scoring opportunities fall by the waistside.
Milwaukee counters with Marco Estrada (4-2 4.94) who despite coming off a promising start against Pittsburgh last week that was able to notch a win. His quality start featured 7 strong innings while allowing just a run on 4 hits and striking out 8. Estrada is particularly dominating on the road winning 2 of 3 decisions in 5 appearances sporting an ERA of just 3.09. While Minnesota has been relatively inconsistent when given numerous opportunities, there's no surprise given their inability to produce as evident by their .240 team batting average. They start out the evening at 21-28, 7.5 games behind first place Detroit. Small ball has been the focus behind Ron Gardenhire's crew, and while they have Josh Willingham as their core producer with 9 HR and 24 RBI, he has seen his average dip to .212 leading the team with 56K's. Joe Mauer (.330) is amongst the league leaders in hitting, however Justin Morneau (.293 2 34) has yet to show his trademark power that has flourished him throughout his career despite no problem hitting the baseball and driving in runs.
Nonetheless we get a good price this evening at Target Field, a venue that could favor both the pitcher and the hitter depending upon the situation. While Deduno is still getting himself back into mid-season form working his way back into the rotation, Estrada is hoping to continue his winning ways tonight given effective back to back starts would improve his overall consistency. The Twins could sure use a breakout performance at home, and their return home could provide the spark they need. Best of luck however you play!