Minnesota Twins: Braves Arrive for Anniversary Series

Jul 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Target Field.Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Target Field.Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been 25 years since the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves faced off in one of the greatest World Series ever played and on Tuesday, those same two teams will meet up once again.

No doubt when the two-game series begins, there will be some special memories to be had by the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves faithful.

It just would have been cooler if the two teams didn’t have a combined 70-127 record on the season.

Yes, this two-game series will be nothing more than two cellar teams battling for bragging rights, playing full of memories and well the potential first overall pick.

The two games at Target Field will be part of a split series that will pick up in August when the Minnesota Twins travel to Atlanta for another pair of games.

Ervin Santana will once again face a former employer as he opens the series in what could be one of his final starts in a Twins uniform.

He will be followed up by Tyler Duffey who recently saw a five-game win streak end at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.

Pitching Matchups

Ervin Santana (3-8, 3.93) vs. Lucas Harrell (1-2, 4.24)

Santana will go against a former team for the third time this season. Thus far, he is 0-3 with two losses to the Kansas City Royals and one to the Los Angeles Angels.

He is currently pitching through a terrific streak of quality starts while going 3-3 over his last six starts after starting off 0-5.

Santana’s strong starts as of late have been well-timed as the Trade Deadline is coming up and he finds himself as the Minnesota Twins’ top trade chip.

This start could be his final audition for potential suitors.

Tyler Duffey (5-7, 5.71) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (3-4, 3.79)

Duffey had won five straight heading into the Boston series but found himself on the wrong end of a 13-2 loss where he lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs.

Duffey may lead the Minnesota Twins in wins but that is thanks in large part to his superior run support. During his five-game winning streak, the offense scored 53 runs while he allowed 15 including three games of four runs or more.

The point is, Duffey hasn’t been an overly effective pitcher aside from a handful of starts. But when he has been good, he has been very good and the Minnesota Twins will be hoping to see that against the Braves.

Duffey’s name has not been part of any trade rumors so it seems the team views him as a longtime pitching option.


The Twins have been swinging some hot bats lately, which has led to a 12-8 record in July.

Second baseman Brian Dozier, outfielder Max Kepler and first baseman Kennys Vargas have all been producing with some big numbers.

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And while All-Star Eduardo Nunez has been hitting well, even he has slowed down since his hot start.

It seems the likes of Dozier, Kepler and Vargas are all safe from any potential trades. But Nunez, Kurt Suzuki and Trevor Plouffe may also find themselves moved.

Plouffe seems unlikely to be moved by the deadline but may be a goner in the near future.

It’ll be interesting how things develop but the team has done an admirable job of keeping it together despite the many rumors and the obvious struggles.

With Atlanta’s pitching struggling as well, the Twins may find themselves in a bit of slugfest.

And who knows maybe Joe Mauer will push someone off first base.

In addition to the two games with Atlanta, the Minnesota Twins will face off against the Baltimore Orioles for a make-up game of a prior rainout.

Kyle Gibson (3-6, 4.67) will face Kevin Gausman (2-7, 3.77).

Gibson is coming off his best start of the season where he allowed just two hits and one run over eight innings against the Red Sox.

He too has found himself in the news lately as a potential trade option but as of now it’s all just hearsay.

The one-off will be played on Thursday at Target Field.

Next: Torii for Manager?

But that will kick off the week for the Minnesota Twins. It should be a fun and interesting week too as the deadline looms.