Carlos Silva has shown amazing mastery of the strike zone this season. If only he had the same control of the outcome of his starts.
The victim of poor run support and bad luck throughout a strong season, Silva looks to end a frustrating seven-start winless streak when the streaking Twins continue a four-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Silva leads the Minnesota starting staff with a 3.33 ERA, ranking fifth in the AL and just ahead of teammate and defending AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana (3.37).
However, the right-hander’s most impressive statistic is the eight walks he’s allowed in 159 2-3 innings. His ratio of 0.45 walks per nine innings is easily the best in the majors.
Despite his impressive control and stinginess with runs, Silva has not posted a victory since a 7-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on July 4. He has surrendered more than two earned runs once in his last seven outings, but doesn’t have a victory to show for it.
The latest example of Silva’s star-crossed season came Sunday, when he allowed one run and seven hits—all singles—over seven innings at wild card-leading Oakland, only to come away without a decision as the Twins pulled out a 2-1 win in the ninth inning.
Silva was pulled after 86 pitches due to a little tightness in his knee, but manager Ron Gardenhire indicated it wouldn’t stop him from making his next start.
“I tried to stay in, but I don’t want to do different mechanics and hurt my arm,” Silva said.
The Twins have won five straight to close within 3 1/2 games of the Athletics. They got another homer from Matthew LeCroy in Thursday’s series-opening 7-3 victory over the Mariners.
LeCroy, who homered twice to help the Twins complete a three-game sweep of AL Central-leading Chicago on Wednesday, had a two-run shot in the first inning to help Minnesota to a 3-0 lead.
Minnesota has won seven of nine overall in its bid for a fourth consecutive postseason berth. The Twins won the Central in each of the previous three years, but are 11 1/2 games behind the White Sox.
“We’re dangerous when we can hit because we can pitch,” Gardenhire said. “We had a lot of good at-bats, a lot of quality at-bats.”
Adrian Beltre homered for a second straight game for the Mariners, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost their third in a row on the road in the opener of a seven-game trip.
Beltre has driven in 12 runs over the last seven games.