Carlos Gomez helped spark an emotional Minnesota win that has the potential to end the team’s slump. Now, the Twins hope to finally get the speedy center fielder back for a whole game.
After leading off an extra-inning rally, Gomez is expected to start for the first time in four days when the Twins continue a four-game series with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Gomez wasn’t in the starting lineup for the third straight game Monday due to a wrist injury, but he entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and scored the winning run in the 12th as Minnesota (22-22) beat Texas (22-24) 7-6 in the opener of this series.
Gomez, batting .271 with 24 runs and 16 stolen bases, led off the 12th with an infield single. He expects to be back in center field and leading off Tuesday after reporting no ill effects from batting practice earlier Monday.
The Twins had lost five of their previous six before Gomez’s speed helped give them a much-needed win that also ended a three-game skid.
Michael Cuddyer played center field for Gomez, but went 0-for-6 to drop his batting average to .226. Cuddyer, who will likely return to right field Tuesday, has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats.
With his start in center field Monday, the fifth-year veteran has now played every position in the field for the Twins—except for pitcher and catcher—at least once.
“It completes my tour around the major league baseball diamond,” Cuddyer said.
Glen Perkins (0-1, 3.75 ERA) has started two games this season for Minnesota since being called up from Triple-A Rochester. The left-hander, who will take the mound Tuesday, is pitching for a permanent spot in the Twins’ rotation while Scott Baker is on the disabled list and Francisco Liriano is in the minors.
Perkins gave up two runs and five hits while striking out six in six innings as Minnesota lost 3-2 in 11 innings against Toronto on Thursday. He has not received a decision in three career relief appearances against the Rangers, holding them without a hit while walking one in 3 2-3 scoreless innings.
Doug Mathis (1-0, 0.00 ERA), meanwhile, will be making his first career start for the Rangers. He will be trying to help bolster a Texas rotation that is without Kevin Millwood, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.
“I know I’m here because guys got hurt,” Mathis told the Rangers’ official Web site. “A guy like Kevin Millwood is not going to lose his spot in the rotation. I just want to help the team now, and what happens after guys get healthy will happen. I just want to pitch well enough where if there is a need down the line in the rotation or the bullpen, they feel confident in me being up here.”
The right-hander has made three relief appearances, pitching three scoreless innings in that span. This will be his first appearance against Minnesota.
No matter how well he pitches, Mathis could be in trouble when he hands the game to Texas’ bullpen.
Rangers closer C.J. Wilson’s troubles continued Monday, as he gave up the tying run on a single by Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer in the ninth. Wilson has now given up 11 earned runs in his last 11 1-3 innings and hasn’t recorded a save since May 7.