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Game 67: Twins at Indians

Can Minnesota win the series against their most important opponent?

"Who but, indeed?" shrugged Kepler.
"Who but, indeed?" shrugged Kepler.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 3:10 PM CDT
Radio: WCCO 830, TIBN
Know Thine Enemy: Let's Go Tribe

Entering play today, the Twins remain five games back of Cleveland. If the rest of the weekend goes well, they could find themselves just three games back -- AND the Tigers would be in striking distance of first place. This, to me, is the best timeline. Let's all aim for that.

This afternoon, Fernando Romero will make his eighth major-league start. He's coming off a five-inning outing against the Angels; he only gave up two earned runs and struck out five, but was pulled after 94 pitches. Romero's season-high pitch count is 101, and with the exception of the horrible start he had against Kansas City, he usually sits in the 5-6 inning, 90-97 pitch range. If he can stay efficient against the Cleveland batting order, we might see him finish seven innings for just the second time this season.

On the flip side of the rubber is Carlos Carrasco, a veteran opponent who's been familiar to the Twins for the better part of a decade. Carrasco leads the American League with two complete games pitched this season, a record he shares with our very own Jose Berrios. (Berrios has a shutout, though; Carrasco does not. Take that, Carrasco!) Carrasco is having his weakest season by ERA+ (114) in five years, but he's still putting up very respectable numbers. Last time out, he struck out eleven White Sox hitters in seven shutout innings, marking his second straight performance with double-digit strikeout numbers.

Joe Mauer is back in the leadoff spot, searching for his first hit since being reactivated. Amusingly, Francisco Lindor is making his first start as a designated hitter this year, after committing both a throwing and a fielding error in last night's ballgame.


Today's Lineups

Joe Mauer - DH Francisco Lindor - DH
Eddie Rosario - LF Michael Brantley - LF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Jose Ramirez - 3B
Logan Morrison - 1B Edwin Encarnacion - 1B
Brian Dozier - 2B Jason Kipnis - 2B
Robbie Grossman - RF Yan Gomes - C
Max Kepler - CF Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
Ehire Adrianza - SS Tyler Naquin - CF
Bobby Wilson - C Erik Gonzalez - SS
Fernando Romero - RHP Carlos Carrasco - RHP