Brian Lawrence has taken a shutout into the ninth inning in each of his past two starts. He has also lost both games.
On Tuesday, Lawrence allowed just four hits in a 3-2 loss to Detroit, but one of those hits was a game-winning three-run homer to the Tigers’ Dmitri Young.
“The only bad pitch I threw was to Young—one terrible pitch,” Lawrence said.
The previous Thursday, Lawrence took a three-hit shutout into the ninth against Milwaukee but allowed three straight RBI hits and lost 3-2.
The Padres will look for another strong effort from Lawrence as they try to win for just the second time in six games. After dropping Friday’s series opener 7-5, San Diego fell 6-2 on Saturday.
Jacque Jones hit two home runs, including the 20th of his career to lead off a game, as the Twins won their third straight. Jones, who grew up in San Diego, is 4-for-8 with four RBIs in the series’ first two games.
A.J. Pierzynski also had two hits and three RBIs for the Twins, who improved to 4-1 in interleague play this season.
STANDINGS: Twins - 1st place, AL Central. Padres - 5th place, 21 GB, NL West.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Joe Mays (7-3, 5.40 ERA). Mays has won his last four starts, but allowed at least three earned runs in three of those outings. On Tuesday, he went six innings, giving up three runs and nine hits in a 6-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. The 27-year-old right-hander has never faced the Padres.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Lawrence (3-7, 4.46 ERA). Lawrence has just one win in his last 10 starts, a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 24. He has never faced the Twins.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Twins - Jones, .316 avg. and 37 runs; Jones, Bobby Kielty and Torii Hunter, 8 HRs; Hunter, 36 RBIs; Jones and Corey Koskie, 6 SBs. Padres - Rondell White .296 avg.; White and Ryan Klesko, 10 HRs; Klesko, 32 RBIs; Xavier Nady, 32 runs; Shane Victorino and Ramon Vazquez, 7 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Twins - 4-1. Padres - 1-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Twins - SS Chris Gomez was taken for an MRI exam of his right knee before Saturday game. He injured the knee trying to catch a bloop hit on Friday. … RHP Mike Nakamura made his major league debut Saturday, pitching 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief. … Minnesota’s starters are 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA in five interleague games. Padres - 3B Sean Burroughs returned to the starting lineup on Saturday after being a late scratch Friday with a left forearm contusion. … SS Lou Merloni was able to walk off the field after being knocked to the ground in a collision with LF White. He appeared to hurt his right shin. … LF White went 0-for-3 Saturday, ending his 16-game hitting streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Twins - 20-11 on the road. Padres - 11-24 at home.
INJURIES: Twins - RHP Rick Reed (back), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Fetters (hamstring), 60-day DL; LHP Eric Milton (knee), 60-day DL. Padres - OF Jason Bay (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Clay Condrey (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Brandon Villafuerte (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Trevor Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Kevin Jarvis (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Kevin Walker (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Jay Witasick (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Phil Nevin (shoulder), 60-day DL.