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Game 11: Twins vs. Red Sox

Time to get back on track — x2

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins
Nelson Cruz is in the lineup for Game 1, Byron Buxton is not.
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins and Red Sox will play a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday — although there’s nothing traditional about playing two seven-inning games, but that’s a topic for another day — and ace Kenta Maeda will get the chance to be a true stopper in Game One.

Suddenly, the Twins have lost three consecutive games and sit at just 5-5 on the season. The obvious sky-is-not-falling take, of course, is that the Twins have yet to lose a game by more than two runs, including three extra-inning losses, and they still hold the division’s best run differential at +19.

Boston, on the other hand, was mercilessly mocked after starting the season 0-3 with a sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox have responded with seven consecutive victories and sit atop the AL East with a 7-3 mark.

To complicate things further, the Twins’ roster changed significantly on Wednesday morning. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons tested positive for COVID-19, and was replaced on the active roster by JT Riddle. Also, Alex Kirilloff is headed across town from St. Paul to serve as the 27th man for the twin-bill, and Josh Donaldson is expected to play in the second game, although at this moment, I can’t find a corresponding roster move for the life of me. Nelson Cruz didn’t play on Tuesday due to a non-COVID-related illness, but is in the lineup for Game 1.

The pitching matchup is a good one. Maeda was fantastic last time around against Detroit and will be pitching at Target Field for the first time this season. He’ll be opposed by Nathan Eovaldi, who has only given up two earned runs in 12 13 innings of work this season.

It’s fair to expect this to be yet another low-scoring affair, given the anemic offense we saw for much of Tuesday’s tilt, plus the caliber of pitching and the frigid temperatures in the Twin Cities.

Okay, enjoy your day full o’ baseball.

Today's Lineups

Christian Arroyo - 2B Luis Arraez - 3B
Alex Verdugo - CF Jorge Polanco - 2B
J.D. Martinez - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
Xander Bogaerts - SS Max Kepler - RF
Rafael Devers - 3B Willians Astudillo - 1B
Marwin Gonzalez - 1B Alex Kirilloff - LF
Hunter Renfroe - RF Jake Cave - CF
Franchy Cordero - LF Ryan Jeffers - C
Kevin Plawecki - C JT Riddle - SS
Nathan Eovaldi - RHP Kenta Maeda - RHP