MLB: Twins go with Sonny Gray, seek series win vs. Giants

After snapping their longest losing streak since August of 2020, the Minnesota Twins will try to put together a winning streak then they face the sputtering San Francisco Giants on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Right-hander Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA), who is 1-1 with a sparkling 2.08 ERA in four August starts, will start for the Twins, who snapped a six-game skid with a 9-0 victory over the Giants in Friday’s series opener. Gray is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

Right-hander Alex Cobb (4-6, 3.99 ERA), no stranger to Target Field thanks to his days pitching in the American League with Tampa Bay, Baltimore and the Los Angeles Angels, will start for San Francisco.

The Giants have dropped six of their last eight games to fall two games below .500 and 6 1/2 games out of the final National League wild-card spot. Cobb is 3-3 with a 5.68 ERA in eight career starts against Minnesota, including 1-2 with a 4.74 ERA in five starts at Target Field.

The Twins, who scored just 12 runs during their six-game losing streak, scored eight runs in the first three innings Friday while cruising to victory.

Carlos Correa lined a two-run homer into the left-field bleachers to give Minnesota a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, and the Twins broke the game open with a six-run third that featured a three-run double by Gilberto Celestino and a two-run homer by Gary Sanchez.

Correa’s homer, his 15th of the season, set the tone and seemed to relieve the pressure for the Twins, who improved to 52-18 when scoring first this season.

Rookie right-hander Joe Ryan picked up his 10th win by allowing just two hits over six innings and striking out eight.

“It felt like we needed that, a good boost early in the game, give Joe a good lead early,” Correa said. “He was lights out and gave us a chance to win tonight.”

“That’s obviously the best kind of way to start a ballgame,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “But the fact we were able to come back a couple innings later and just pile on changed the whole dynamic of everything.”

San Francisco starter Alex Wood left after just three innings and surrendering eight runs on six hits while hitting two batters. It matched a single-game career high for runs allowed in a game for Wood, who has allowed 15 earned runs and five homers over 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

“I think it’s a lack of command at times for Alex,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “The most important thing that he can do is work fast, know his plan and pound the zone, and he’s doing that effectively, but it’s not enough when he’s in the middle of the plate. He’s as tough as they come and as competitive as they come and is going to get ready for his next start.”

Kepler said the lopsided loss, which featured a position player, catcher Austin Wynns, called upon to pitch the eighth, didn’t hurt more than any of the other recent losses by the Giants.

“Every loss sucks,” Kapler said. “They all suck equally in my opinion. There are some that sting a little bit more, but winning is the only thing that makes it feel better.”

–Field Level Media

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