Preview: Twins at Rangers
A strained right quadriceps by Minnesota's Eddie Rosario could keep him out for a week or more and might precipitate a September call-up for center fielder Byron Buxton.
Rosario has carried the mantle of the Twins' best overall player this season, but Minnesota did just fine without him on Friday, hammering out 12 hits in a 10-7 victory over the hapless Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
The Twins will send right-hander Jose Berrios (11-9, 3.74 ERA) to the mound for the middle game of the three-game series, while Texas will counter with right-hander Yovani Gallardo (7-3, 6.01).
Buxton has been at Triple-A Rochester since June 17 when he was sent down for a rehab assignment for a strained left wrist.
That rehab stint was later converted into an option and Buxton has only recently begun to heat up at the plate with Rochester, having reeled off seven multi-hit games in his last 11 contests and batting .388 since coming off the disabled list Aug 14.
"A few days ago, I talked to him," Twins third baseman Miguel Sano told the St. Paul Pioneer Press about Buxton. "We were talking about how he feels. He told me he feels good. He's been playing good too. I hope he can be here (Saturday), but I don't know."
Meanwhile, the Rangers lost their fifth straight game. Desperate to make a little noise and some decisions about the team over the final month, Texas called up right-hander Connor Sadzeck to the big leagues on Friday when Cory Gearrin was traded to the Athletics.
Sadzeck, one of the hardest-throwing pitchers ever produced by the Rangers farm system, is 6-foot-7 and can hit 100-plus mph with his fastball. He was 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 32 games at Triple-A Round Rock. Over 38 innings, he has allowed 36 hits, walked 16 and struck out 43.
"Similar to what we have seen in the past with the big fastball, breaking ball combo, swing and miss is there," Rangers manager Jeff Banister told MLB.com. "Power plays at this level and he's big and creates angles. Guys like that come in and throw strikes, they can be challenging for hitters.
"I look forward to getting him out on the field and seeing how the stuff plays out against big-league hitters."
Berrios will be making his 28th start of the season after facing the Rangers at home earlier this season and earning the win with seven shutout innings. He also recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts in that June 24 start against Texas.
Overall, Berrios is 2-0 in his career versus the Rangers with a 3.75 ERA. He has never pitched before at Globe Life Park.
Gallardo will make his 16th appearance and 13th start of the season on Saturday night. He has seven wins in 11 games, all starts, since June 23, tied for second most in the major leagues during that span. Gallardo will be working on five days' rest, having last worked and taking the loss in the Rangers' 3-1 defeat on Sunday at San Francisco. He gave up three runs and four hits over five innings in that game.
Gallardo has gone 5-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 12 games, all of them starts, in his career versus Minnesota. In his one start against the Rangers this season, Gallardo allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings but got the win in Texas' 9-6 vctory on June 23.