Seeking to pull themselves out of last place in the American League Central, the Minnesota Twins will open the second half of their schedule with a manageable three-game set at home with the Oakland Athletics.
The Twins will have the unfortunate task of facing promising Oakland right-hander A.J. Griffin, a 24-year-old hurler who starred at the University of San Diego and broke into the big leagues less than a month ago. Griffin not only has posted three consecutive six-inning starts to open his MLB career, but has yielded a grand total of nine hits and five walks through 18 innings, good enough for a sparkling 0.78 WHIP.
Manager Ron Gardnehire will opt to break the series with starter Francisco Liriano in game one, in a clear vote of confidence for the talented yet inconsistent left-hander. Though he has lowered his brutal early season ERA by more than two runs since rejoining the rotation, Liriano's 10 walks in his last two first half apperances could be a sign of things to come.
Here are the starting lineups for Friday:
1. Denard Span - CF
8. Drew Butera - C
1. Coco Crisp - CF
A.J. Griffin - SP