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Game 8: Twins at Red Sox

Extra, Extra, read all-a-Bally!

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


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I won’t bury the lede here: the latest report on Byron Buxton appears to be good news.

I can’t lie — it was a little hard for me to enjoy the bright spots of yesterday’s win (and there were many!) without shaking the foreboding sense of doom as we awaited another prognosis. Thankfully, it sounds like Byron won’t hit the IL — yet — and could be back in time for the White Sox series back in Minnesota next weekend. Of course, “no news is good news” doesn’t seem to fully apply to Byron Buxton, who could just as easily be slated to start in 24 hours as miss the next 3 years of his career.

There remains the possibility that Buxton is retroactively moved to the injured list, but for the time being, the club is keeping him day-to-day, and returning to the 3-man bench they ran for the first week of the season.

Anyway, it’s time for Saturday afternoon baseball, brought to you on Bally Sports North Extra, as our little April rounders contest has been pre-empted by playoff Minnesota Timberwolves basketball.

One week in, let’s take a peek at the divisional standings, something we haven’t had much need to ponder yet given our low volume of intra-Central games to begin the year.

Courtesy: Google

Following the solid team victory yesterday, the Twins will look to win back-to-back games for the second time in the young season. They’ll send out Sonny Gray for his second trip, exactly a week after he made his start in a eventual loss to the Mariners. He’s squaring off against Tanner Houck, who I routinely get mixed up with Tanner Roark, who I thought was going to be a surefire ace for the Washington Nationals. (Ultimately, Roark had a solid career; just under 20 bWAR and a top-10 Cy Young finish is nothing to sneeze at.)

Houck — you know, the actual pitcher today — was instead a 2017 first-rounder for Boston who made his debut during the 60-game season. He followed that up with a solid 2021, then got a little walk-happy in his first and only 2022 outing. Houck is an important arm for the Red Sox rotation; he’s the youngest, at 26 years of age, and helps offset the fact that there’s a 42-year-old at the other end.

Jeffers does the catching, Nick Gordon gets center field coverage in the absence of Buxton, and it’s Gio Urshela at the hot corner today.