The Twins will try to sweep the Texas Rangers on Sunday, while the Cleveland Indians will try to avoid the series loss to the New York Yankees.
As it stands now, the Twins picked up another game on the Tribe after they beat the Rangers on Saturday and the Indians lost to the Yanks. Their lead increased to 2.5 games in the AL Central.
The Twins had no trouble in Saturday’s tilt. By the bottom of the second inning, the Twins led 8-2, then banged out a total of 18 hits to beat the Rangers, 12-7. Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave had 12 of the Twins’ 18 hits. Sano also homered, as did C.J. Cron.
The only disappointing note was starter, Jose Berrios, who was handed a huge lead and yet couldn’t get out of the fourth inning. He allowed seven runs, but only three were earned due to a Sano error, his 15th. He also walked three and gave up two home runs to the same player: Old friend Danny Santana, who spent four seasons with the Twins.
After Berrios was done, social media was abuzz with concern about a drop in Jose’s velocity. That apparently was not the case on Saturday, according to MLB.com.
Berrios has been working with pitching coaches Wes Johnson and Jeremy Hefner to correct his mechanics over his last several starts. Berrios saw his fastball velocity tick up to an average of 93.6 mph on Saturday after hovering around 90-92 mph over his last several appearances. He felt that he missed a few locations with his fastballs but was, overall, pleased with the progress.
Martin Perez gets the ball Sunday against his old team. The Rangers will counter with ex-Twin, Lance Lynn, who is a very surprising 14-8 with a 3.54 earned run average this season. He also has struck out 184 batters in 160 innings pitched. Hard to believe this is the same guy who pitched for the Twins in 2018 and went 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA.
-The Twins are 75-48; the Indians, 73-51.
-This month the Twins are 9-7; the Indians, 10-7.
-For the second time in Twins history, the club has six players with 20 or more home runs.
C.J. Cron HR makes history: It's second time that six Twins have hit 20 or more homers in a season:
2019 — Kepler (33), Cruz (32), Rosario (27), Garver (23), Sano (22), Cron (20)
1964 — Killebrew (49), Allison (32), Oliva (32), Hall (25), Mincher (23), Versalles (20)
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) August 18, 2019