Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver went 0-for-3 with two walks on Tuesday, leveling off after blasting a pair of home runs in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader against the host Chicago White Sox.
Garver knows that such can be baseball, and he’s happy to get reacquainted with its rhythm after being sidelined since early June with a groin contusion that required emergency surgery.
“Just kind of like going through seven weeks of not playing baseball, and to come back and get in a game, I think the adrenaline helps out a lot,” Garver said. “I have more confidence in myself to go out there and trust in the process I’ve been working on and to put it into game play.”
Losers of five of six since the All-Star break, the Twins will try to begin building momentum and salvage a split of their four-game series when the teams meet Wednesday night.
The White Sox rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to top the Twins 9-5 on Tuesday, winning for the fourth time in five games behind Jose Abreu’s four RBIs.
While Chicago has opened a 9 1/2-game lead in the American League Central, additional optimism swirls as the team awaits the return of outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Both are on minor league rehab assignments.
“We’re in a good spot right now,” said White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, who was 0-for-5 Tuesday as his career-best hitting streak ended at 16 games.
“Everybody’s playing well. But the more bats we get in the lineup, the better we’re off. We’ve just got to keep pushing, man, and know what we’re capable of doing and know what we can do any given night.”
Minnesota has lost two straight since winning the opener of Monday’s doubleheader, 3-2 in eight innings.
The Twins likely will be without left fielder Luis Arraez, who is day-to-day after leaving Tuesday’s game with right knee soreness. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Arraez will be on crutches for a while.
Also, Baldelli confirmed his intentions to use a platoon behind the plate, with Garver splitting time with Ryan Jeffers, who caught a majority of innings in the 28 games Garver missed due to injury.
Right-hander Michael Pineda (3-5, 4.11 ERA) is set to get the call for the Twins as he makes his third start against the White Sox this season. Pineda hasn’t pitched since losing to Chicago on July 7, when he allowed five runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and four strikeouts.
Pineda is 5-5 with a 3.78 ERA in 11 career starts against the White Sox, with 62 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.
Righty Dylan Cease (7-5, 4.15) will start for the White Sox, getting his fourth assignment against the Twins this season.
Cease has struggled mightily against Minnesota in his career, going 1-3 with an 8.04 ERA in six starts covering 28 innings.
He is 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA in three July starts and is coming off Friday’s home loss to Houston, when he allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings while walking two and striking out 10.
–Field Level Media