The American League East battles the American League Central this evening as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is game two of a four-game set between these teams. The Blue Jays took game one by a score of 5-3
Pitching Matchup: Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 1.69 ERA) will toe the slab for the Blue Jays and he will be opposed by Kyle Gibson (0-0, 7.71 ERA).
Big 8th Helps Jays Top Twins
The Toronto Blue Jays have had a horrible start to their year, but the AL East has been weak overall this year, so they still have a chance to get back in the race. The Blue Jays are currently 6-11 on the year and in a last-place tie with the Boston Red Sox in the AL East, but they do come in off a nice 5-3 road win over the Twins in game one of this series. The Jays trailed the game 3-1 heading to the 8th inning when they put up a four spot, which was highlighted by a three-run homer from Teoscar Hernandez. It was his 1st dinger of the year. Matt Shoemaker had a decent start as he allowed three ERs on four hits in 6.0 innings of work, but was saddled with the no-decision. Sam Gaviglio picked up the win and is now 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA on the year.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 16, 2019
Taking the hill for the Jays will be Aaron Sanchez and he has gone 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts on the year. Sanchez has allowed six runs (three earned) on 13 hits and nine walks while striking out 16 in 16.0 innings of work. In his career, he has gone 18-11 with a 3.12 ERA in 64 games (38 starts) on the road and 6-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 21 starts during March/ April, plus 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Twins, including 2-0 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts here at Target Field. Sanchez is 26-16 with a 3.72 ERA in 72 games as a starter in his career overall.
Toronto has been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 25th in the league in scoring, putting up 3.59 rpg, while also ranking 25th in hitting at .210 and 24th in homers with 16. On the mound, they have been very solid as they rank 7th in the league in ERA at 3.38, while also ranking 8th in WHIP at 1.22 and 2nd in K’s with 169. Their pen ranks 12th in ERA at 4.14.
Twins Bloiw One Late
With the Cleveland Indians being a bit down this year, many feel that the Minnesota Twins have a good shot at dethroning them in the American League Central. Minnesota has an upgraded offense and a good starting staff, but their pen is a weakness in could hold them back some. The Twins had a 3-1 lead late in game one of this series, but Adalberto Mejia allowed four ERs in the top of the 8th to put Minnesota down 5-3 and they were never able to recover. He took the loss and is now 0-1 with a 9.32 ERA on the year. It wasted a solid effort from Martin Perez, who allowed just one ER on seven hits in 6.0 innings of work. The pen needs to improve. C.J. Cron (2), hit their lone homer in the game.
The Twins will trot out Kyle Gibson, who has gone 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA in two starts on the year. Gibson has allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 14 hits and five walks while striking out eight in 9.1 innings of work so far. In his career, he has gone 24-32 with a 4.61 ERA in 78 starts here at Target Field and 5-11 with a 5.37 ERA in 25 starts during March/ April, while against the Blue Jays he has gone 3-1 with a 4.79 ERA in seven starts.
The Twins have been above average on offense so far as they come in ranked 10th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.23 rpg, while also ranking 5th in hitting at .270 and 23rd in homers with 17. On the mound, they have been above average as they rank 14th in the league in ERA at 4.30, while also ranking 15th in WHIP at 1.32 and 28th in K’s with 120. Their pen ranks 21st in ERA at 5.09.
- 21-44 in their last 65 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game
- 0-7 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter
- 24-9 in their last 33 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- 7-1 in Gibson’s last 8 home starts vs. a team with a losing record