|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 4, 2018
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota Attendance: 27,909
Royals, Twins could be dodging raindrops
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins might want to pack an umbrella when they make their way to Target Field on Saturday for Game 2 of their three-game weekend series with the Kansas City Royals.
A day after two lengthy rain delays marred the Twins' 6-4 series-opening victory Friday night, the Minneapolis forecast calls for another round of thunderstorms Saturday, beginning early in the morning and lasting right up until the scheduled first pitch. Another batch of storms is expected to make their way through the area as the game progresses.
"I think you learn about people when you go through long nights and stopping and playing, stopping and playing," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Friday's delays. "We just tried to keep it as loose as we could up here in the clubhouse and at the same time remind these guys that we had to finish what we had started."
Should Saturday's game start as scheduled, right-hander Jose Berrios (10-8, 3.56 ERA) will get the start for Minnesota as he looks to bounce back from a rough outing his last time out. He allowed nine hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 3-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
"It's a testament to who Josie is as a pitcher, and his maturation," said Twins coach Derek Shelton, who was filling in for Molitor that day. "He went out there without his best stuff, against one of the best lineups in baseball, and he was still able to get himself out of jams. Even when he's off, he can still contain things."
Before that start, Berrios had been pitching well, save for two blowup starts. He posted a 3.28 ERA in six June starts -- a number that was inflated when he gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs on June 29 -- and followed that with a 3.38 ERA in five July outings. That number was also skewed by a six-run outing against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 14.
"Every time out there I learn, I take the experience in my career as a person and a pitcher," Berrios said. "When I go out there, I always have fun. Now I feel I'm having more fun. I feel more mature. I feel good when I go out there."
Berrios has faced Kansas City once this season, giving up one run and six hits in seven innings to get the win in Minnesota's 3-1 victory on July 9. He is 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in six career starts against the Royals, who turn to right-hander Burch Smith as their starter on Saturday.
Smith picked up his first victory in nearly five years two starts ago, holding the Detroit Tigers to two runs on a hit and two walks while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings. He didn't fare quite as well in his last outing as the New York Yankees tagged him for five runs and five hits, including a home run by Aaron Hicks, while he walked three and struck out four in four innings last Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Hicks' home run came on a curveball, which was a problem pitch for Smith against the Yankees.
"They were too hittable," he said. "I didn't have that pitch, as well as much of anything else."
The 28-year-old Rule 5 pick out of the Rays' organization has appeared in 28 games for the Royals this season, going 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA this season, including a 1-2 mark and 7.47 ERA in four starts.
In three appearances against Minnesota this season, Smith has allowed 11 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. His only start against the Twins came on July 11 when he gave up four runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings, but he did not get a decision in the Royals' 8-5 loss.
Updated August 4, 2018