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Game 78: Twins at Tigers

Minnesota turns to Pablo to keep the momentum.

Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

First Pitch: 6:15 pm CDT

TV: FOX / ~ / Radio: TIBN

Twins fans have been waiting for the definitive Pablo Lopez performance ever since he signed his extension with the club back in April. While he’s been in a bit of a valley since then — including a hit-and-miss June so far — Minnesota’s pitching staff has been turning in some gems lately, following up a Joe Ryan complete game shutout with an encouraging first start back for Kenta Maeda.

Now, Lopez takes up the rubber, coming off 5.2 iffy innings in a 9-3 loss against the Red Sox during Minnesota’s most recent homestand. He’ll be looking to recapture some of the magic he had on June 7th, when he held the Rays to a single run over seven innings (in another loss.)

Of course, the pitching has hardly been the problem — though it’s encouraging that the lineup has put up 15 runs during a modest three-game winning streak. The barrels seem to be coming a little more often, and guys like Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Royce Lewis seem to be stepping into a bit of a power stroke. Even Max Kepler has found something, slashing .400/.438/1.000 with three homers since June 20th, raising his OPS .075 points in that frame.

The Tiger pitching, which should have been feastable last week, is offering another course here at Comerica. Tonight, the Twins will look to dine on the arm of Reese Olson and his 5.59 rookie-season ERA. This will be Olson’s fifth major-league start after a call-up earlier this month; he’s allowed eleven runs over his last nine-plus innings, though demonstrated some big-league strikeout stuff with eight strikeouts in his last outing, a win against the Royals.

COURTESY: Baseball Savant (click to expand!)

Minnesota looks to make it four in a row with a win tonight, and keep still-sub-.500 Cleveland off their tails. Enjoy the game!