If the Twins want to salvage the 2011 season, they're going to have to win at their home ballpark more than once a month. Before their 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night that featured Nick Blackburn going the distance for the win, it had been exactly one month since Minnesota's last home victory. Wednesday afternoon's game offers a chance for the Twins to win a series and gain some momentum heading into their weekend series with the Angels at Target Field.
Brian Duensing will take the mound for the Twins while Seattle will counter with lefty Erik Bedard. Both pitchers hold 2-4 records this season, although Bedard's ERA is just over a full run lower than Duensing's. Bedard is coming off his best start of the year, pitching eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.
The Twins' offense has started to show some life lately, but the pitching staff (especially the bullpen) has struggled mightily during that time. Duensing had an impressive April, but he's 0-3 with an ERA of 10.38 in his last four appearances, one of which was a two-inning relief appearance.
Due to a few "mild" or "minor" injuries depending on which member of the Twins' staff you ask, there have been a few lineup changes today. Kevin Slowey is headed to the DL with an acute abdominal strain, and it sounds like the Twins will call up--gulp--Jim Hoey to replace him. Matt Capps is unavailable for today's game, sighting forearm soreness. (Funny, I could have sworn it was pride soreness.) Finally, Michael Cuddyer is out of the starting lineup today thanks to a sore right hip, but he is available off the bench if needed.
First pitch at Target Field is scheduled for 12:10 PM CST.