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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 29 (All times eastern)
Minnesota Twins (36-43) at Texas Rangers (37-43), 3:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Kyle Gibson (6-6, 3.92) Texas - Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.94)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The streak has now reached double digits for the Minnesota Twins, but the good news is that they'll be heading home to begin a seven-game homestand after they finish up a three-game set with the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday the Twins were taken down by Texas in a disappointing 5-0 decision, marking the 10th consecutive road loss for the Minnesota franchise.
All alone at the bottom of the American League Central standings, nine games out of first, the Twins are just 17-26 away from home to this point and have not won on the road since posting a 2-0 victory against Detroit on June 13.
The Twins were limited to just four hits on Saturday, two of them coming from Chris Parmelee, as the team lost for the fifth straight time overall. Starting pitcher Phil Hughes let up all five runs in 7 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits along the way.
While Hughes struggled, fellow starter Yu Darvish pitched another masterful performance as he lasted eight shutout innings, giving up those four hits and a walk, while fanning 10. It was the 25th time in his career that he notched double-digit K's, second-most in Rangers history behind only Nolan Ryan, who did it 34 times during his stay in Arlington.
"I thought he was Yu Darvish again," Texas manager Ron Washington said of his ace who had lost his previous two outings. "I don't care how good you are, there will be bumps in the road and there will be times when things don't go right. And that even can happen for Yu Darvish, as good as he is. It was nice for him to go out there today and find his pitches that work, and he mixed them well and he used them. It's nice to see him back."
Adrian Beltre's three hits and two runs scored was more than enough to get Darvish back into the win column. Also contributing on offense was Leonys Martin, who tallied a pair of hits and drove in two for the hosts as they posted their second win in a row after losing eight straight.
A pair of pitchers try to rise above .500 this afternoon as the Twins send Kyle Gibson to the hill and Texas leans on Colby Lewis.
In the case of Gibson, the right-hander is coming off a very difficult outing on Tuesday when he lasted a mere two innings in an 8-6 loss at the Angels. Gibson was shelled for seven runs on a mere four hits and two walks, while striking out a single batter during the onslaught.
Gibson's only previous appearance against the Rangers came earlier this season when he pitched six shutout innings, allowing six hits and fanning four, but he failed to earn a decision in what was a 1-0 setback for Minnesota.
For Lewis, who is 0-5 in 10 all-time appearances against the Twins, he too is coming off defeat after losing to Detroit earlier in the week. The right- hander, a loser in two of his last three decisions, allowed four runs on nine hits, two of those being home runs by Tigers hitters, in 6 1/3 innings. Lewis fanned six and refrained from issuing a single walk in the matchup, but still dropped to 5-5 overall.
In a bit of an odd twist, while Texas hurlers lead the AL in shutouts with 14, they also have the highest ERA in the league (4.54) and have allowed opponents to hit a staggering .281 against them (worst in the majors).
Not too far behind in the ERA department are the Twins, who sport a 4.41 mark at the moment, their .271 batting average against second-worst behind only the Rangers in the American League as well.
Texas won just three games against the Twins all of last season but already own a 5-1 advantage in the series this year.
06/29 10:46:00 ET