The Minnesota Twins remain the only American League Central team with a winning record, but they are experiencing their own struggles this week against the Detroit Tigers.
Minnesota has lost three of the first four games of a five-game series in Detroit. The Twins were blanked in the past two contests, including a 5-0 loss on Wednesday in which they only managed two hits — a bloop and an infield dribbler.
The series finale is set for Thursday afternoon.
“There’s always going to be ups and downs,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’re playing so many games. Right now, we’re just kind of in a spot where we have to bring it to the opposition. Can’t just hang around and wait for things to happen offensively.
“We’ve got to make it happen. There’s a lot of different ways we can win a ballgame, but we’ve got to stay in the ballgame long enough to make that happen and then force the issue.”
Rookie Alex Faedo (1-2, 3.00 ERA) will make his sixth start for the Tigers. His latest outing on Saturday was also his longest, as he held Cleveland to two runs and five hits in six innings but still got tagged with the loss. The Guardians pulled away for an 8-2 victory.
“I was happy with the way I threw the baseball,” Faedo said. “Going up against a guy like (Shane) Bieber, you’ve got to be sharp. He’s a Cy Young guy. He had a good day, and he beat us.”
Faedo has gone at least five innings in all five of his starts and hasn’t given up more than two runs in an outing.
In contrast, Chris Archer (0-2, 4.19 ERA) hasn’t been allowed to go long enough to get a victory this season. Archer, who will start for Minnesota, has not pitched more than 4 1/3 innings in any of his nine starts. He went exactly four innings in each of his past three outings.
He faced the Tigers on May 23 and limited them to one run on three hits. In his latest appearance, on Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, he gave up five runs (three earned) and seven hits.
“I could have executed better,” Archer said. “I made maybe the right pitch, I just didn’t throw it in the right spot. They’re a contact-oriented team, and they put the ball in play. And it (stinks). I wish I could have made better pitches in those spots.”
Detroit shortstop Javier Baez likely will be in the lineup on Thursday after getting Wednesday off. Baez played both games of the teams’ Tuesday doubleheader.
“I talked to him about the doubleheader, to get his feel for playing 18 innings and taking the next day off, or not playing Game 2 and playing him (Wednesday),” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He and I both agreed a day off would be better for him.”
Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop had an RBI single in the first inning on Wednesday, and the Tigers tacked on four more runs in the fifth.
“That set the table for better at-bats as the night went along and we continued to get hits,” Hinch said of Schoop’s hit. “Didn’t hit the ball out of the ballpark but still scored.”
Schoop added an RBI double in the fifth inning.
–Field Level Media