Kyle Lohse has pitched much better than his record shows this season.
The third-year right-hander will try for his seventh straight quality start when the Twins play the deciding game of their interleague series with the San Francisco Giants at Pacific Bell Park.
Lohse has gone at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in six straight outings. In his last start on Friday, he allowed three earned runs and eight hits over eight innings, but the Twins’ bats were silenced in an 6-0 loss to Seattle.
“He did everything he’s supposed to do to help this team win and offensively we just got shut down,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Lohse, who is just 4-4, but has a 3.09 ERA.
The Twins are going to need more stellar efforts from Lohse, who has a 1.97 ERA during his streak, because they had to put right-hander Rick Reed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a lower back bruise.
The Twins are 5-1 during Lohse’s quality-start streak, but he is only 2-1 despite allowing just 38 hits in his last 45 2-3 innings.
The Giants have the momentum in the series, thanks to Wednesday’s 4-3 victory. Barry Bonds singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, giving San Francisco its sixth win in its last eight games.
Bonds is 10-for-27 with seven RBIs over his last eight games.
STANDINGS: Twins - 1st place, AL Central. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Lohse (4-4, 3.09 ERA). Lohse, who has never faced the Giants, has recorded a quality start in nine of his 11 outings overall. The right-hander has struggled in interleague play, going just 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA in six starts.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Jesse Foppert (3-4, 4.31 ERA). Foppert snapped a three-start winless streak with a solid effort against Colorado on Saturday, allowing just one earned run and three hits, while striking out eight and walking just two, over seven innings. The 22-year-old right-hander has pitched at least six innings in five of his last seven starts. He has never faced the Twins.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Twins - Jacque Jones, .318 avg., 34 runs and 6 SBs; Bobby Kielty and Torii Hunter, 8 HRs; Hunter, 35 RBIs. Giants - Marquis Grissom, .312 avg. and 6 SBs; Bonds, 14 HRs and 38 runs; Benito Santiago, 36 RBIs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Twins - 1-1. Giants - 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Twins - RHP Mike Fetters was transferred from the 15- to 60-day DL because of an injured hamstring. … The Twins had been 25-0 when leading after seven innings prior to Wednesday’s loss. … OF Hunter has hit safely in 14 of his last 17 games. Four of his 12 doubles this season have come the past two games. Giants - LHP Jason Christiansen made his first major league appearance since April 17, 2002, at San Diego. He was activated Tuesday after having reconstructive ligament surgery on his elbow last May 30. Christiansen got one out in the eighth, then received high-fives from his teammates as he walked into the dugout. … Bobby Bonds, the 57-year-old father of OF Barry Bonds is now back home in San Carlos, Calif., after spending some time in a hospital with pneumonia. Bonds underwent surgery on a brain tumor in April and has been battling lung cancer. … RHP Jerome Williams, a 21-year-old right-hander who was replacing injured RHP Kurt Ainsworth, made only his second major league start Wednesday, striking out six, walking three and allowing five hits in 6 2-3 innings.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Twins - 17-11 on the road; Giants - 18-12 at home.