The Minnesota Twins begin a three-game set with the most prolific offense in baseball on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, as manager Ron Gardenhire's team looks to make up some ground before the All-Star break.
On the mound to face a Texas lineup that has combined to produce MLB-bests in runs (434), batting average (.281), and on-base percentage (.342) is none other than Minnesota lefty Francisco Liriano. Liriano has only served up one home run ball in seven outings since being banished to the bullpen earlier in the year, and is whiffing nearly seven batters per start over that same span.
Twins hitters will be looking for an edge on Friday night against Texas left-hander Martin Perez, a 21-year-old Venezuelan who has thrown exactly 123 pitches in the pros. The six-foot, 165 pound prospect won his first career MLB start over Oakland back on June 30, but has yet to face adversity on the mound against big league hitters.
Here are the starting lineups for game one:
2. - SS
6. Nelson Cruz - RF
8. - C
9. - CF
Martin Perez - SP