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Game 63: Twins at Mariners

Welcome to another West Coast swing.

MLB: New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
Can Chris Archer turn in a third consecutive start with 5+ innings pitched?
Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 9:10 PM
TV: Bally Sports North
Radio: TIBN,
Know Thine Enemy: Lookout Landing

The Minnesota Twins have emerged from what will likely be the most difficult nine-game stretch of the season with a 5-4 record.

It’s hard to view this as anything other than a success, given that Chi Chi Gonzalez and his 5.69 career ERA started two games during the stretch. It wasn’t in the plans to give a pair of starts to Cole Sands, either, or to have Tyler Duffey entirely implode or Joe Smith have his worst stretch of the season.

But all those things happened, and the Twins won more games than they lost against three playoff-caliber teams. Now, the Twins have a winnable West Coast swing against a pair of below-.500 teams in the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

We last saw the Mariners during the first week of the season, when they split a four-game set with the Twins. Monday’s starting pitcher, Chris Flexen pitched in the final game of that series and gave up three earned runs in 4 13 innings, including five hits and three walks. In general, Flexen hasn’t been as good this season as he was last year: 4.73 FIP, 1.387 WHIP this year vs. 3.89 FIP, 1.252 WHIP last year. (#analysis.)

The Twins will counter with Chris Archer, who has been pitching deeper into games of late and generally looking sharper than he did earlier this season. Archer has thrown five full innings each of the last two times out, allowing just one earned run against both the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees.

The Twins have both Byron Buxton (DHing, but we’ll take it) and Carlos Correa in the lineup, although Jorge Polanco will have a rare day off.

Enjoy late-night baseball!

Today's Lineups

Luis Arraez - 2B Jesse Winker - LF
Byron Buxton - DH Ty France - 1B
Carlos Correa - SS J.P. Crawford - SS
Max Kepler - RF Eugenio Suarez - 3B
Gary Sanchez - C Adam Frazier - 2B
Jose Miranda - 1B Abraham Toro - DH
Trevor Larnach - LF Cal Raleigh - C
Gio Urshela - 3B Taylor Trammell - CF
Gilberto Celestino - CF Dylan Moore - RF
Chris Archer - RHP Chris Flexen - RHP