Fri, 02 Jun 2023

Twins look for timely hitting in series vs. Giants

Field Level Media
22 May 2023, 15:55 GMT+10

Right-hander Bailey Ober, who outdueled Clayton Kershaw and helped earn Minnesota its first Dodger Stadium win since 2005 in his last start, takes the mound on Monday night when the Twins open a six-game homestand against the San Francisco Giants.

Ober (3-0, 1.78 ERA) allowed one run on six hitswhile striking out six over six innings in a 5-1 victory at Los Angeles on Tuesday.

"The whole atmosphere of being at Dodger Stadium against this type of team, to be able to go out there and throw a quality start feels pretty good," Ober told afterward. "I felt like I was floating a little bit, trying to feel my legs."

It will be Ober's first career start against San Francisco. He has made three consecutive quality starts for Minnesota, compiling a 1.89 ERA during that span.

The Twins, who return home with a 3 1/2-game lead in the American League Central, finished a six-game California trip with a 2-4 record, winning one of three games against both the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels.

If not for some poor hitting with runners in scoring position, it could have been a much more successful trip. The Twins are now 5-for-43 (.116 average) with no extra-base hits this season with the bases loaded.

The Twins had an excellent opportunity to blow open Sunday's eventual 4-2 loss to the Angels in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out, but Ryan Jeffers and Joey Gallo both struck out.

"Overall, we can't be pleased with the trip we just had," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "We're a little (upset) about the way we've been handling our business, all of us. We played close games, but we haven't really played well enough to think we're going to win. It comes down to basically a pitch or two that decided the game.

"I don't have an answer for the bases-loaded conversation, for anyone thinking of asking that question. I don't think anyone does. We were in every single ballgame and had our chances. We need to do better with all of those chances."

San Francisco, which is just 7-13 on the road this season, is beginning a seven-game midwestern road trip that concludes with four games at National League Central-leading Milwaukee. The Giants have won five of their last six games, including a 7-5 win over Miami on Sunday.

Veteran right-handed reliever John Brebbia (2-0, 4.26) will be an opener on Monday making his 14th career start in his 277th major league game. Brebbia is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two career appearances against the Twins, allowing four hits and no runs in 2 2/3 innings while striking out three.

Switch-hitting rookie catcher Patrick Bailey, selected Friday from Triple-A Sacramento, starred in Sunday's win for the Giants, hitting his first major league home run and also driving in another run with a safety squeeze. Bailey, the 13th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, made his major league debut on Friday night and then got his first big league hit on Saturday afternoon.

"It's crazy," Bailey told the San Jose Mercury News. "To be able to kind of get all the milestones out in a weekend and just kind of settle in, it's pretty cool. Just a rollercoaster. Full of emotions. After every day I felt just absolutely exhausted mentally and physically."

--Field Level Media

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