Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Twins had their four-game winning streak snapped but they have been flexing their offensive muscles as they prepare to host the Boston Red Sox on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series. The Twins have amassed 34 runs during their 4-1 stretch and swatted 10 homers in a three-game set versus Oakland.
Minnesota outfielder Eddie Rosario hit one of three homers in Thursday’s 8-5 loss to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, boosting his batting average from .154 to .293. Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, who has four homers and 13 RBIs in his last seven games, has a hearing on an appeal of his one-game suspension Friday and will sit out if it is upheld. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia ended a 13-game extra-base drought with his first homer of the season Thursday and owns a strong track record against scheduled Minnesota starter Phil Hughes, going 16-for-41 with five homers and 15 RBIs. Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez, who has allowed one run in his last two starts, will oppose Hughes in the series opener.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodríguez (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Twins RH Phil Hughes (4-1, 5.06)
Rodriguez was superb against the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs last time out, recording a season-high nine strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball. The 24-year-old also went six innings in his previous turn, overcoming five walks to hold Baltimore scoreless on one hit. Rodriguez has been tormented by Brian Dozier, who is 4-for-6 with two homers against him.
Hughes managed to snag his fourth win at Kansas City despite surrendering a season-high 10 hits last time out while allowing at least four runs for the third time in four starts. Hughes, who is 4-0 on the road, went six strong innings in his previous turn at Texas, giving up two runs on six hits. Hughes is 6-9 with a 5.36 ERA in 26 appearances (17 starts) against Boston.
1. Twins CF Byron Buxton left Thursday’s game after crashing into the wall. He passed his concussion protocol but will be re-evaluated Friday.
2. Boston RHP Steven Wright will undergo season-ending knee surgery next week.
3. Minnesota optioned RHP Kyle Gibson to Triple-A Rochester after another rocky outing in Thursday’s loss.