Preview: Twins at Indians
The Minnesota Twins know there’s still a ton of time left in the season, but they can’t help being excited about the way they’re playing.
The same can’t be said about the Cleveland Indians, whose inability to string together victories has them sitting at the bottom of the AL.
Minnesota looks for an eighth win in nine contests Friday night when it visits Cleveland to begin a three-game series.
The Twins opened with six losses in seven games and were still four games under .500 on April 24, but they’ve since won 10 of 13.
Minnesota took three of four from visiting Oakland and improved to 16-13 following Thursday’s 6-5 victory. The Twins are three games above the break-even mark for the first time since finishing 94-68 in 2010 to win the Central title.
"We had this confidence from Week 1, it’s just hard to show it with a 1-6 record," third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. "We knew we could do it. But talk is cheap. You have to go out there and win. That’s what we’ve been doing lately."
The Twins have been doing it at home. They completed an 8-3 stretch at Target Field on Thursday and are an AL-best 12-5 at home, but they’ve gone 4-8 on the road.
"I’ve always thought that when your team is playing better, you have to keep your perspective and it should make you hungry to find those little things that can make your team better," manager Paul Molitor told MLB’s official website. "So you keep pushing."
Minnesota has received a nice boost from outfielder Eddie Rosario since calling him up from Triple-A Rochester on Monday with Oswaldo Arcia going on the disabled list. Rosario homered on the first pitch he saw in his first major league at-bat in Wednesday’s 13-0 win and drove in two runs Thursday.
"It’s a good first couple of games for him," Molitor said. "He’s kind of feeling his way, but he looks fairly confident."
Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 2.63 ERA) has one of the Twins’ wins on the road but is coming off his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander was staked to a 7-0 lead Sunday but struggled with his control as he walked two and hit three batters in 3 1-3 innings of a 13-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.
"Realistically, I’m mad I had to come out of the game with a seven-run lead," he said. "I didn’t give them a choice."
Pelfrey is 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts against the Indians. He faced them April 17 and gave up a run and three hits with four walks in five innings of a 3-2 win in 11.
Trevor Bauer (2-0, 3.38) is also coming off a poor start, allowing six runs and seven hits while walking three in 4 1-3 innings of a 10-7 win over Toronto on Sunday. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.47 ERA in four starts against Minnesota.
Cleveland (10-17) has alternated a loss and a win in the last nine games, falling 7-4 at Kansas City on Thursday. The Indians haven’t posted back-to-back victories since the second and third games of the season.
"We’ve got to get it going soon, because you can’t be here all year saying, ‘We can’t get it going.’ It’s about time where we start making it go," utilityman Mike Aviles said.