The Twins look for a third consecutive solid effort from a starter as they try to complete a sweep of the Indians on Thursday at Target Field.
After Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey(notes) and Francisco Liriano(notes) combined to allow one run and 11 hits over 16 innings in the first two games of the set, Baker (2-1, 3.38 ERA) tries for a third straight win and continue his recent dominance over Cleveland (6-8).
The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his last seven against the Indians, and 7-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 16 career starts. That success could continue against Cleveland, which is last in the majors in batting average (.215) and near the bottom in runs (46).
“We just need to keep working,” Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) said after his team’s 6-0 loss to Liriano and the Twins on Wednesday. “We also need to give credit to their pitchers. They’re good and they’ve been doing a good job.”
Baker, the Twins’ opening day starter, has been good of late.
In his first Target Field appearance, Baker lasted seven innings for the second straight game, this time allowing two runs and striking out six during a 10-3 victory over Kansas City on Friday.
The AL Central-leading Twins (11-4) are batting .290 and averaging 6.0 runs while going 6-2 at their new outdoor stadium.
Minnesota’s Michael Cuddyer(notes) hit his third homer and drove in three runs, while Denard Span(notes) had two RBIs on Wednesday. Cuddyer is batting .389 with 13 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak.
The right-hander threw a six-hitter with no walks in a 6-2 win over Chicago on Friday.
“It’s tough when you have so many guys struggling,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “That’s why I say I feel thankful to be where we’re at right now.”
Choo is one of the few Indians who has fared well at the plate, batting .313 on the season. He’s 3 for 16, however, against Baker.
Cleveland, which was swept in its final series at the Metrodome in 2009, has lost five in a row on the road overall.