Twins look to salvage split against Red Sox


After snapping a three-game losing steak in dramatic fashion, the Minnesota Twins aim for a split of their four-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday in Minneapolis

Minnesota had dropped five of its last six games before emerging with a 10-inning, 5-4 victory on Wednesday. Max Kepler homered for the second straight game and Kyle Farmer delivered a walk-off single to end Boston’s six-game winning streak.

“That was a good fight from our guys,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We did some big things and we did a lot of little things, as well. I was really pleased with the way our guys went out there and pitched and played and defended and did basically everything today.

Kepler is 7-for-18 (.389) against the Red Sox this year, recording two doubles and three home runs in those contests

After outscoring opponents 50-18 during its win streak, Boston went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position during the Wednesday loss.

Red Sox designated hitter Justin Turner homered among his two hits and drove in two runs. Turner has hit .432 (19-for-44) with four home runs and 14 RBIs over his past 11 games

Alex Verdugo is 20-for-53 (.377) during a 12-game hitting streak for Boston, which will likely be without Reese McGuire in the series finale. The catcher strained a right oblique muscle during a swing in the sixth inning on Wednesday.

“It looks like he’s gonna be on the (injured list),” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We’re gonna see what we’re gonna do.

Boston is expected to have right-hander Justin Garza (0-1, 3.46 ERA) serve as the opener in front of left-hander Brandon Walter in the series finale. Walter, 26, would be making his major league debut.

One of the team’s top prospects, Walter has gone 1-5 with a 6.28 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) at Triple-A Worcester this season. He posted a 3.48 ERA with 13 strikeouts in his last two outings covering 10 1/3 innings.

“Season’s been up and down for me, obviously, but I feel good,” Walter said. “I think my best innings have been the most recent ones. I feel confident coming into this, and hopefully just help this team win.”

The Red Sox protected Walter from the Rule 5 draft after adding him to the team’s 40-man roster last November

Minnesota will counter with right-hander Joe Ryan (7-4, 3.30 ERA), who allowed a season-high six runs over seven innings in a 7-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

“I felt pretty good out of the gate and made some pitches, maybe wrong spot at the wrong time,” Ryan said. “Happens and they got some weak hits and then some big hits, strung those together.”

Ryan, 27, has allowed 16 runs over his past four outings covering 23 2/3 innings (6.08 ERA).

Ryan is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three career starts vs. Boston. He last faced the Red Sox on April 19, when he gave up three runs over six innings in a 10-4 victory. Enrique Hernandez homered against him in that game

–Field Level Media



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