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Game 59: Twins at Cleveland

Minnesota looks to tee off against AL Central rivals, starting in Cleveland.

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But WHERE is he on assignment?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 6:10p Central
Television: FOX Sports North; MLB Network (out-of-market only); (subscription)
Radio (English): ‘CCO 830 AM, “Dan Gladden is ‘on assignment’” Network
Radio (Spanish):
Know Thine Enemy: Let’s Go Tribe

After a day off to soak in the first round of the MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins are at it again, and they’ll finish off their three-city road trip against two AL Central foes. The first foe is the AL Central’s third-place team, the Cleveland Indians. That’s right. They’re technically tied for second place with the Chicago White Sox at 11.5 games back, but Chicago has a better divisional record than Cleveland (16-13 vs 8-13), so they’re in third place.

And everyone was all, “Cleveland will win the AL Central handily while the Twins sit in second place or lower.” LOL OK

Lefty Devin Smeltzer will take the mound for the Twins in tonight’s contest. He was called up to start the second game of the short series with the Milwaukee Brewers after Michael Pineda hit the IL, and he did pretty okay in his first start: 6 IP, 3 H, 7 K, 0 ER, 69 pitches. (Nice.) And by “pretty okay” I actually mean “really awesome” since that was his first major-league start. Hopefully we can read more good stuff about Smeltzer after the game is finished tonight.

Cleveland will counter with righty Shane Bieber, possibly some relation to (for some reason) famed super-star “vocalist” and teenage heart-throb Justin Bieber. He did face the Twins in the last game of the opening series of the season at Target Field, coming out of the bullpen for the last two innings, allowing an earned run and striking out two. That was also his only appearance against the Twins in his career. On the season, he’s been very good: 3.67 ERA in 11 starts, 68.2 IP, 28 ER, 11.1 K/9, and 1.092 WHIP. He does also have a complete game shutout to his name, but that was against the Baltimore Orioles, so that’s pretty much irrelevant. He’s allowed 13 homers on the season, and the Twins will look to double that number tonight.

The "Boomstick's Back!" Lineups

Max Kepler - RF Francisco Lindor - SS
Jorge Polanco - SS Oscar Mercado - LF
Nelson Cruz - DH Carlos Santana - 1B
Eddie Rosario - LF Jordan Luplow - RF
Mitch Garver - C Jose Ramirez - 3B
Marwin Gonzalez - 1B Jason Kipnis - 2B
Miguel Sano - 3B Roberto Perez - C
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Jake Bauers - DH
Byron Buxton - CF Leonys Martin - CF