The Rangers went to Target field last night for the first of four games to get their first win at Target Field, but it didn’t happen. Thankfully, they have three more tries in this series with the second of four kicking off tonight.
Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz both his home runs last night, but the Twins’ offense was just a little bit stronger than the Rangers although they only won by one. Cruz has been able to safely hit in 11 of his previous 13 games after last night.
Tonight, the Rangers will still be trying to get their first victory at their opponent’s field and avoid going 0-8 at Target Field and by the looks of the two starters tonight, it may just be their opportunity.
Pitching MatchupsThe Twins have LHP Brian Duensing on the hill for the start tonight. He is 3-5 this year with an ERA of 4.73. He has 46 strikeouts and 23 walks. He is coming off a win at Kansas City in which he threw eight shutout innings allowing six hits. However, this was his first win since April 23 against Cleveland. Since then, he has allowed as much as seven runs in one of his outings taking the loss in five of his starts since his last win.
The Rangers will counter with LHP C.J. Wilson. Wilson has gone 6-3 this year with a 3.03 ERA. He has 82 strikeouts and 30 walks. Wilson is coming off his a win against Cleveland in which he allowed no runs on three hits in 7.2 innings. On the road, Wilson has allowed 15 runs on 32 hits over 44 innings.
Pitchers vs. Hitters
LHP Brian Duensing: As a team, the Rangers are hitting .220 against Duensing but don’t have the most experience with only several at-bats. Andres Blanco has gone 2-for-2 against him but he may not even be starting tonight. Adrian Beltre is 1-for-2, Michael Young is 2-for-6, Josh Hamilton is 1-for-8, Elvis Andrus is 1-for-5 and Nelson Cruz is 1-for-3. Hamilton is the only batter with a homer off this lefty and has the most RBIs at three.
LHP C.J. Wilson: As a team, the Twins are hitting just .157 against Wilson. Michael Cuddyer is 2-for-16 with two RBIs and seven strikeouts and Justin Morneau is 2-for-12 with one homer and two RBIs. Alexi Casilla, who hit the game-winning run last night, hasn’t gotten a hit off the Rangers’ lefty. Danny Valencia is the best of the team going 2-for-3 with one RBI against Wilson.