Baker is winless in seven career starts at Angel Stadium, although he’s been pitching well lately for the Twins heading into Wednesday night’s contest.
Scioscia sat out Tuesday’s 5-1 victory to start this three-game set as he served an automatic one-game suspension from Major League Baseball as a result of ace Jered Weaver’s(notes) actions Sunday in Detroit.
With left-hander Brian Duensing(notes) starting Tuesday for Minnesota (50-59), Scioscia moved designated hitter Bobby Abreu(notes) up to No. 2 in the lineup with Torii Hunter(notes) dropping to third while RBI leader Mark Trumbo(notes) moved up one spot to bat sixth.
“Against the lefties we might move Trumbo up and get him connected with the other guys a little bit,” Scioscia told the Angels’ official website. “Against righties, we’re going to flip-flop some things and try to find a little continuity that way.”
Trumbo’s 20th homer made him the sixth rookie in Angels history to reach that figure and the first since Tim Salmon, who set a club record for rookies with 31 in 1993.
The Angels should be confident against Baker (8-6, 2.86 ERA), who is 0-5 with a 6.10 ERA on the road against them. Baker, however, has thrown 14 straight scoreless innings against Los Angeles, including seven in a 6-5 home loss May 27.
That’s the kind of form the Twins have seen over the last eight starts from the veteran right-hander, who is 6-2 with a 1.64 ERA in that span. His three-game win streak ended last Thursday as he allowed two runs over seven innings in a 4-1 loss at Texas.
Baker was pulled after 97 pitches in his second start since returning from the disabled list because of a right flexor strain.
“You’re at that threshold,” he said. “To throw any more, I don’t know if that would have been beneficial. You know yourself well enough to know your limits.”
Hunter, Abreu and Trumbo are a combined 4 for 26 with no homers against Baker.
The Twins have also fared well against Joel Pineiro(notes) (5-5, 4.91), who will start Wednesday for the Angels. Pineiro is 2-7 with a 4.42 ERA in 15 career starts against the Twins, never winning a home start against them in seven outings with three different teams (0-5, 5.15).
The Angels have won the last four home starts by Pineiro, who is 0-2 with a 15.00 ERA in his last three overall. He surrendered six runs over 3 1-3 innings in Thursday’s 12-7 win at Detroit.
“I’ve got to get back to getting the ball down,” Pineiro said.