CINCINNATI — Kenta Maeda said he didn’t feel perfect on Tuesday — his four-seam fastball, in particular, didn’t have the life he had wanted it to have. But the results were nearly perfect nonetheless.
Maeda threw five innings on Tuesday, striking out eight batters and allowing just one hit — a double in the fourth inning — and a walk while picking up the win in the Twins’ 7-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
That came after an outing in Chicago in which Maeda gave up two runs across seven innings. The veteran starter has now won three straight games and has certainly been making a case to start a playoff game.
The Twins, who are likely to clinch the American League Central DIvision title later this week, are expected to play in a best-of-three Wild Card Series in which Pablo López and Sonny Gray, in some order, would likely start the first two games.
If the Twins opt to line up Joe Ryan for a potential Game 3, Maeda has plenty of experience coming out of the bullpen in the playoffs, a role he excelled in, while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maeda said the Twins had yet to approach him about his potential role in the playoffs, but he’s open to pitching out of the bullpen.
“Really wherever the team puts me … I just go out and do my best, whatever that role may be,” Maeda said through interpreter Daichi Sekizaki. “During the regular season, I prefer to be a starter. But when it comes to postseason, everything changes. We all shift gear towards winning each game. So each role that I’m in, I just go out and give it (my) all.”
Carlos Correa had magnetic resonance imaging taken on his left foot on Tuesday afternoon after hearing a pop while making a play and exiting Monday night’s game early. Acting manager Jayce Tingler said Correa, who has been dealing with plantar fasciitis since May, came in and was still sore on Tuesday. The Twins will have more information on Correa’s status on Wednesday.
“We’re truly staying day-to-day,” Tingler said. “We’ve got a game (Tuesday), a game (Wednesday) and then the off day on Thursday. We’ll get back home Friday, and if he doesn’t have drastic improvements over the next 24 hours or so, we’ll probably look to see where we’re at on Friday.”
Correa said his foot had been feeling particularly good before Monday’s game. That changed when he raced back to catch a popup in the first inning and felt a sensation that said felt like “there was a knife,” in his heel.
Kyle Farmer played shortstop in Correa’s absence on Tuesday, and Tingler said he considers Farmer and Willi Castro their shortstop options when Correa is out.
The Twins sent five players to Triple-A St. Paul on Tuesday on rehab. Nick Gordon went 2 for 3 in the game with a run scored. Joey Gallo was 1 for 3 with an RBI and a walk. On the mound, starter Chris Paddack, used in relief, threw three scoreless innings and struck out five batters. Relievers Brock Stewart and Jorge Alcala each threw a scoreless frame.