The Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers will play the second game of a four-game set Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers
Minnesota endured its worst loss in manager Ron Gardenhire’s tenure last night, dropping a 20-6 contest to Texas at the Ballpark in Arlington. “It was an ugly night for us,” Gardenhire commented. “Probably the worst I’ve had here as manager.” The Twins are now an even 9-9 versus AL West competition, including a 3-2 mark versus the Rangers. Offensively, the team is needing catcher Joe Mauer to break out of a 1 for 16 slump over the last four games, but it’s not likely to occur tonight. Mauer has collected just one hit in 19 career at-bats versus the Rangers scheduled starter. Minnesota is 16-14 versus left-handed starters this year and 20-23 when facing winning opposition.
Twins starting pitcher Carl Pavano is 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 20 starts this season and is coming off a 6-2 home loss to the Tigers. He allowed five runs and nine hits over six innings in that particular outing. Pavano will be toeing the rubber on the road for the 12th time this year, bringing in a 3-5 mark and 5.07 ERA, as opponents are hitting .296 against him. The 35-year-old is an even 1-1 with a 4.23 ERA in four starts this month, serving up four home runs in 27 2/3 innings. In six career starts versus the Rangers, he has posted a losing 2-3 record and 6.62 ERA, including an 0-2 mark and 12.46 ERA in three outings at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas is one of the hottest teams in baseball by winning 15 of its last 18 games and compiled 22 hits last night, the most by an AL team this season. It was a surprising result considering the Rangers had lost seven of their last eight games against the Twins. Not much has gone wrong for the club in front of the home faithful, especially for an offense that is batting .352 and average 8.2 runs in the last 11 games in Arlington. That’s been a common theme with the Rangers leading the majors in July in average, hits and runs. Texas is a dominating 12-4 versus losing opponents during the second half of the season and 41-29 against right-handed starters.
Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is 10-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 21 starts this season and is coming off a disappointing loss. The left-hander limited the Angels to an unearned run and two hits over eight innings, only to be handed a 1-0 loss on the road. Wilson has posted a solid 5-1 record and 3.68 ERA in 10 home starts, issuing 19 walks and registering 57 strikeouts in 66 frames. In 21 career appearances (four starts) versus the Twins, the All-Star hurler has garnered a losing 2-3 record and 4.18 ERA, but proved victorious against them on June 10 at Target Field. He allowed three runs and eight hits in a 9-3 victory in that effort.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Rangers due to their 10-1 mark as a home favorite, while the Twins are 0-4 in their last four road games versus southpaw starters