Lohse hopes to win for the first time since July 2 when the struggling Twins continue a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.
The 26-year-old right-hander is 0-4 with a 4.67 ERA over his last six outings. However, Lohse pitched well his last time out, giving up two runs and seven hits and not receiving a decision in last Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Oakland.
“He threw the ball real well,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He went right at their hitters.”
Lohse has had success at Safeco Field in the past, going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts. He is 2-3 with a 4.23 ERA in seven career starts against the Mariners.
Minnesota fell to 9-17 since the All-Star break with a 5-4 loss Monday to kick off a nine-game road trip. The Twins have fallen 7 1/2 games behind AL West Division co-leaders Oakland and Los Angeles as they try to make a run at the AL wild card.
That kind of production will not get it done with Minnesota playing without injured center fielder Torii Hunter.
“We’re a little bit quieter team,” Gardenhire said. “He’s not someone you can replace, and a lot of people have to step up and fill in.”
Seattle starter Felix Hernandez—the organization’s top prospect—is set to make his home debut. Hernandez was solid in his major league debut, losing to Detroit 2-1 last Thursday after giving up two runs and three hits over five innings.
The 19-year-old right-hander showed plenty of poise in his debut, yielding only one run after Detroit loaded the bases with none out in the first inning. He struck out four in an 81-pitch outing.
The Mariners plan to limit the 6-foot-3 youngster to between 95-100 pitches in his first start in front of the home fans.
“We all need to realize that he’s only 19-years-old and give him time to become who he should become,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “We all realize that Felix doesn’t throw the ball 190 mph and he is hittable, just like every pitcher who goes out to the mound. It’s just that he has other stuff to go with his good fastball that makes him effective.”