It’s the start of a series between American League foes down in the Lone Star State. The Minnesota Twins are on the road as they open up a four-game series with the Texas Rangers Thursday night. Minnesota closed a two-game interleague set on the road with the Brewers, falling 6-5 Wednesday afternoon. Texas dodged a sweep of a three-game set at the hands of the Blue Jays as they picked up a 7-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon on the road. The Twins took two of three meetings in the first series between the teams this season, which took place July 5-7 at Target Field.
Minnesota Twins Battling in AL Central Chase
Minnesota let one slip away late and missed a chance to extend their lead in the AL Central race. The Twins enter this contest with a narrow half-game advantage over the Indians in the division. Minnesota got solo homers from Miguel Sano (his 21st), Eddie Rosario (his 26th) and Mitch Garver (his 23rd) in the loss. Kyle Gibson didn’t factor in the decision after allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts over five innings. Sergio Romo (2-1) took the loss as he allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits with no walks and a strikeout over two-thirds of an inning. Minnesota loaded the bases in the ninth but C.J. Cron flew out to end the game.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) August 14, 2019
Devin Smeltzer gets the call to make his seventh appearance and fifth start of the season for the Twins in this contest. He is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA, a 1.094 WHIP, eight walks and 25 strikeouts over 32 innings of work this year. Smeltzer took the loss in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Indians. He gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts over 4.1 innings in a 6-2 Twins defeat. Smeltzer is 1-2 with a 5.94 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, seven walks and 10 strikeouts over 16.2 innings in his last three starts. He didn’t factor in the decision in his lone career appearance against the Rangers, which came at home on July 7. In that contest, he threw 4.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in a 4-1 Twins loss. Smeltzer, in his seventh major league appearance and fifth career start, pitches at Globe Life Park for the first time.
Texas Rangers Hope to Gain Momentum at Home
Texas was dropped in the first two games of the series against Toronto but managed to get the win in the finale to avoid a sweep. The Rangers enter this one at the .500 mark on the year: they were third in the AL West, 17.5 games behind Houston, and trailed the Rays by 10.5 games for the second wild card spot. Elvis Andrus (two RBI) had four hits for Texas while Nomar Mazara (two runs, RBI) and Danny Santana (three runs, three RBI) each added a pair of hits. Kolby Allard (1-0) earned the win as he threw 5.2 innings: he allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in his first major league victory.
Getting things goin' on hump daaaay! 🐫 pic.twitter.com/p6uwxwY7Hh
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) August 14, 2019
Pedro Payano takes the hill for his sixth appearance and fourth start of the year for the Rangers here. He comes in 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.714 WHIP, 12 walks and 14 strikeouts over 18.2 innings of work in the majors this season. Payano took the loss in his last start, which came Saturday on the road against the Brewers. He threw three innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout in a 3-2 Rangers defeat. Payano is 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA, a 2.13 WHIP, 10 walks and seven strikeouts over 12.2 innings of work in his last three starts. In his sixth career appearance and fourth start, he pitches against the Twins for the first time. Payano didn’t factor in the decision in his lone career start at Globe Life Park, which came on August 4. In that contest, he threw 4.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in a 9-4 Rangers victory.
- Twins are 7-1 in their last 8 during game 1 of a series
- Twins are 4-1 in their last 5 road games
- Twins are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Rangers are 2-7 in their last 9 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days
- Rangers are 1-4 in their last 5 games on grass
- Rangers are 0-5 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600