The Minnesota Twins have continued to rebound from their four-game losing streak, taking the series from both the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers. The Twins got a much needed four-game series victory against the Royals, and they did much of the same against the Brewers, taking two of three at home.
Minnesota has struggled offensively, however, and until Thursday night they went six consecutive games scoring four or fewer. In that span, the Twins won four of those six games.
Starters Paving The Way
Randy Dobnak is cementing his legendary status. His dominance on the mound doesn’t show any signs of waning any time soon. Though his last start was on Sunday, he still leads the Twins starters with a 4-1 record and a 1.42 ERA. He will likely get his next start in Kansas City during Minnesota’s next series.
And although Dobnak has been brilliant, it can’t be lost that Kenta Maeda has exceeded expectations so far this season. On Tuesday he put together the best start for a Twins’ pitcher so far this season in a walkoff win against the Brewers.
Maeda took a no-hitter through the eighth inning and gave up his only hit to the first batter of the ninth inning. He finished the game with only one earned run, a baserunner who scored with Taylor Rogers on the mound. But Maeda had 12 strikeouts on 115 pitches in his long outing.
One thing the Twins desperately needed, though, was the de facto No. 1 pitcher Jose Berrios to return to his early 2019 form that was missing from his first five outings this season. On Thursday in the finale against the Brewers, however, Berrios delivered, holding Milwaukee scoreless in his outing.
Berrios left the game after six scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit, one walk and struck out nine batters, while keeping each of the Milwaukee bats at bay — which made for mostly clean innings before turning the ball over to the bullpen.
If Berrios uses Thursday’s game as a spring board, the Twins have three extremely effective starters ready to continue making waves every fifth day through the heart of the schedule, all against divisional opponents until Sept. 7.
New Additions Fitting In
Rather than just fill a spot, Vargas has come in and gotten three hits and an RBI. On Thursday, he hit the Twins first triple of the season.
Behind Vargas in the lineup on Thursday was newly called up catcher Ryan Jeffers. He has played no higher than Double-A ball, but was in St. Paul waiting for the call up, and he got it on Thursday.
He made sure to make a mark as well. He got a hit in his first at bat, which was an RBI, and ended up with two hits on the night. He was also hit by a pitch. Jeffers came into the fold when Mitch Garver went to the injured list on Thursday, so he may have some more time to play in tandem with Alex Avila behind the plate.