Instead of sending one of their more accomplished rookies to the mound, the San Francisco Giants will turn to an unproven one.
Pitching in place of Kurt Ainsworth, Jerome Williams will make his second major league start when the Giants take on the Minnesota Twins in the middle game of their interleague series at Pacific Bell Park.
Ainsworth, who opened the season with a three-game winning streak and had allowed just a combined two runs over his last two starts, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with strained muscle in the back of his pitching shoulder.
Williams was recalled from Triple-A Fresno to take Ainsworth’s spot in the starting rotation. The right-hander was 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA in 10 starts at for the Grizzlies.
“I’ve just got to go out there and pitch,” said Williams, who allowed five runs and five hits over four innings in his major league debut, a 10-2 loss on April 26 at Philadelphia. “I can’t worry about this being my first time—I can’t use that excuse again.
“It’s going to be a new thing again. … (My leg shaking) is a sign I’m nervous again.”
After opening their 12-game homestand with five straight wins, the Giants have dropped their last two, including Monday’s 6-4 defeat in the series opener.
The three-game series marks the first time the Giants have played the AL Central and the first time the Twins have faced the NL West.
STANDINGS: Twins - 1st place, AL Central. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Brad Radke (5-5, 5.71 ERA). Radke has lost two straight following a season-high four-game winning streak, allowing a combined seven runs over 10 innings. The veteran right-hander surrendered five runs and 11 hits over five innings in Thursday’s 10-6 loss to Seattle. Radke is making his first career start against the Giants.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Williams (0-1, 11.25 ERA). Williams allowed 16 runs—14 earned—and 47 hits over 50 innings with Triple-A Fresno, while striking out 32 and walking 16.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Twins - Jacque Jones, .319 avg., 33 runs and 6 SBs; Hunter and Bobby Kielty, 8 HRs; Hunter, 34 RBIs. Giants - Marquis Grissom, .314 avg. and 6 SBs; Benito Santiago, 36 RBIs; Barry Bonds, 14 HRs and 38 runs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Twins - 1-0; Giants - 0-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Twins - Minnesota is 25-0 this season when leading after seven innings and 29-0 when leading after eight. … OF Jones is batting .331 (43-for-130) with five homers and 12 RBIs over his last 31 games. … RHP Rick Reed has a bruised lower back, making him questionable for Friday’s start at San Diego. If Reed is unable to pitch, LHP Johan Santana will start in his place. Giants - OF Grissom leads the majors with a .414 average (41-for-99) as a leadoff hitter. … The Giants’ rotation had posted a 1.66 ERA over the first six games of the homestand before LHP Damian Moss allowed six runs over seven innings Tuesday. … San Francisco made two other moves Tuesday, activating LHP Jason Christiansen from the DL and placing OF Ruben Rivera on waivers for the purpose of his unconditional release.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Twins - 17-10 on the road; Giants - 17-12 at home.