MINNEAPOLIS — The Atlanta Braves will try to cap a nine-game road trip on a positive note on Wednesday when they play the second of a two-game Interleague series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
After losing six of their first seven games on the trip, the Braves emerged from Tuesday's series opener with a 2-0 victory behind six shutout innings from starting pitcher Lucas Harrell.
“It'd be great (to finish the trip with a win),” said Braves interim manager Brian Snitker. “It's been a rough road trip. The one game we won in Cincinnati was hard fought and it wasn't good in Colorado. It was good, after the off day (Monday), guys came out and played a really good ball game.”
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In addition to a solid outing from Harrell, the Braves got a solo homer from third baseman Adonis Garcia, who ran his on-base streak to 16 games and his hitting streak to a career-best eight games.
During the hitting streak, Garcia is hitting at a .394 clip.
“He's been really good,” Snitker said.
The Twins, who went 4-3 on a recent road trip to Detroit and Boston, also had a day off Monday but were unable to awaken the bats against Harrell. Minnesota, which has been one of the hottest offensive teams in baseball over the last month, stranded seven runners and went 0-for-11 at the plate with runners in scoring position in Tuesday's loss.
“We just squandered opportunities early,” said Twins manager Paul Molitor. “We were within striking distance. The bats weren't particularly good for the most part. It felt a little sluggish.”
Both teams will look for another strong outing from their starters, with Atlanta sending right-hander Mike Foltynewicz to the bump. One of the Braves' most consistent starters this season, Foltynewicz boasts a 3.79 ERA over 11 starts but took the loss his last time out, allowing three runs on four hits and a season-high five walks in a 7-3 loss to the Rockies last Thursday.
Tyler Duffey will look to rebound for the Twins. He allowed six runs on nine hits and a walk in just 2 1/3 innings on Thursday in a blowout loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The outing was the shortest since he went just two innings in his major league debut last August.
Since Minnesota beat Atlanta in the 1991 World Series, the Braves have dominated the Interleague series between the clubs; their victory on Tuesday improved the Braves record to 3-1 at Target Field and Atlanta has won its last six overall against Minnesota.