Los Angeles (62-62) at Minnesota (71-52)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN, US
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Sun Aug 22, 2010
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Minnesota Twins will end their nine-game homestand where they began it— atop the AL Central standings. However, they are less healthy than when it started.

After placing two more players on the disabled list, the injury-ravaged Twins will try to win their third straight series during this homestand as they close a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Minnesota (71-52) began its homestand with a one-game lead over the White Sox and they’ve added to that advantage while going 6-2 during this stretch at Target Field.

The Twins lost 9-3 to the Angels (62-62) on Saturday, giving up 16 hits, as starting pitcher Kevin Slowey(notes) lasted just three innings due to an strained right triceps muscle.

He and reliever Ron Mahay(notes) were placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game. Mahay was also put on the DL after he stumbled off the mound while trying to field a dribbler from Erick Aybar(notes).

Mahay said he strained his right shoulder coming off the mound, then hurt it more when he fell to the ground.

The two pitchers joined shortstop Nick Punto(notes), who went back on the DL on Friday because of a strained left hamstring. Mahay’s injury leaves the Twins with only one left-hander in the bullpen.

“Just more adversity,” first baseman Michael Cuddyer(notes) said. “Hopefully it doesn’t last very long.”

Despite their success on the homestand, the Twins have given up 32 runs in the last five games, while opponents are hitting .348 against them.

Minnesota hasn’t lost a series at home since dropping two of three to Cleveland from July 19-21, and it’ll turn to Scott Baker(notes) (10-9, 4.85 ERA) to end the homestand on a high note.

Baker failed to make it out of the fifth against the White Sox on Tuesday after giving up four runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings, but was bailed out by a 7-6, 10-inning win. Minnesota has won his last five starts, scoring 27 runs.

However, the right-hander is 0-5 with a 5.82 ERA in eight starts against the Angels. He allowed four runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-3 loss April 5.

Jered Weaver(notes) (11-8, 3.11) opposed Baker in that start, giving up three runs in six innings to earn the victory. He is 4-1 with a 3.64 ERA against the Twins.

Weaver struggled in his last start, giving up six runs in five innings of a 6-0 loss to Boston on Tuesday. The right-hander had won his prior two decisions and had a 2.93 ERA over his six previous starts.

Joe Mauer(notes), who is hitting .429 this month despite going 1 for 8 the last three games, is 6 for 18 with two doubles against Weaver.

Weaver takes the mound as the Angels try to win back-to-back road games for only the second time since June 19. They hope they can continue to get contributions from Peter Bourjos(notes), who had a triple, home runs and four RBIs after entering the game hitting .146 in 14 contests since his call-up earlier this month.

“You’ve got to hit, you’ve got to produce up here,” Bourjos said. “If you can just run, you’re not getting hits, you’re not getting on base, you’re not going to stay. You’ve got to produce on both sides.”

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver SD vs. S. Baker LAD
13-12 Record 12-9
3.01 ERA 4.49
233 K 148
54 BB 43
1.07 WHIP 1.34