The Twins look for their second straight win over the struggling St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium, where the well-rested Slowey will try to become the major league’s first 11-game winner.
Minnesota (38-37) opened the three-game interleague set Friday with a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals. The Twins improved to 11-5 against the NL, including 5-2 on the road.
Since June 26, 2005, Minnesota has won 25 of its 35 interleague games away from the Metrodome.
“We’ve been spoiled,” Twins closer Joe Nathan(notes) said Friday after recording his 18th save. “This year has been unbelievable for us, the cities we’ve got to visit and the players we’ve got to play against.”
Slowey (10-2, 4.04 ERA) is 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 career starts against the NL, including 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 2009.
The 25-year-old right-hander was supposed to start in Thursday’s series finale at Miller Park, but was pushed back after suffering tightness in his ribcage in his last outing—a 5-2 win over Houston on June 19.
“I didn’t feel it at all when I was throwing, which I think is one of the reasons why I continued to throw,” Slowey said.
“It’s nice and it certainly comes after my name, but the fact that I have 10 wins I think means a whole lot more because we have 10 more wins as a team,” said Slowey, who has yielded two earned runs or fewer in eight of 14 starts.
This is his first start against St. Louis. Slowey will face a Cardinals club that’s scored just three runs during its three-game skid. After batting .327 in a three-game sweep in Kansas City from June 19-21, St. Louis (40-35) is hitting only .206 while losing four of five.
“Offensively, we’ve got to do more,” said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, whose team is in a virtual tie with Milwaukee (39-34) for the NL Central lead. “We’ve hit the ball decent at times, but we’re capable of stringing together better at-bats, tougher at-bats.”
“The way I see it, it’s a cross between bad pitching and bad luck. That’s not a good combination,” Wellemeyer said.
He is 1-3 with a 6.52 ERA in five June starts.
Wellemeyer makes his first career start against the Twins after going 0-2 with a 2.38 ERA in seven lifetime relief appearances.
A win Saturday gives Minnesota its second series victory in St. Louis. The Twins won two of three in the Gateway City from July 18-20, 1999.