Minnesota: Power has been the theme of the current four game winning streak. In three of the games during the streak, the Twins socked 3 home runs…something they had only done twice previously all year.
Miguel Sano has homered in all four wins. If he homers in today’s game, he will tie the franchise record for home runs in consecutive games. The Minnesota Twins record of course held by Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and tied by Marty Cordova. Sano hopes to follow Killebrew’s career arc, rather than being a flash in the pan.
Killebrew’s name was featured once again this weekend, as he and Bob Allison‘s record for homering in three straight games together was tied by Sano and Joe Mauer. All three of Mauer’s home runs were to left field at Safeco.
Mauer’s three home runs doubled this year’s output, and are just one shy of his total from 2014. Like his MVP year of 2009, Mauer has most of hit extra-base hits to the left-centerfield gap. His slash numbers for this year are similar to his career averages. Only his batting average is considerably different (.286 vs .312), with that narrowing considerably over Joe’s last 10 games.
Ervin Santana looks to bounce back after his worst outing of the year in a place where he has great career numbers. His 1.96 ERA in Oakland is his best in any stadium he’s pitched in, and he’s a lifetime 15-6 with a 2.07 ERA against Oakland in 27 starts, most of them with the Angels.
Notes: Tyler Duffey and Pat Dean both look to build upon their last performances. With good outings by both, it will be tough for manager Paul Molitor to find room for Kyle Gibson, who is eligible to return from the disabled list this week.
There will be a lot of eyes from the front office on Ricky Nolasco‘s next start. If he follows up yesterday’s win with another solid outing, Gibson may be forced to throw another rehab start. If Nolasco falters, look to him being sent to the bullpen as a long reliever with Gibson taking his spot in the rotation.