CHICAGO — In the span of one week, the Twins have lost three regulars from their starting lineup: Robbie Grossman to a fractured thumb, Miguel Sano to a stress reaction in his shin, and now Jason Castro to a concussion. Is it time for a rousing we-shall-overcome speech from the manager?
Apparently not. “I think we’re still doing well. Last night was a tough one, but we’re not there yet,” Paul Molitor said. “These guys are rallying themselves.”
So they are, it seems; the Twins are 5-2 since Grossman’s injury began the trend, and can win a five-game series with the White Sox tonight with Jose Berrios on the mound, trying to win his 12th game. The 23-year-old righthander last Saturday turned in one of his best performances of the season, holding the Diamondbacks to two hits over seven scoreless innings.
That’s the kind of outing that makes it easy to forget Berrios’ back-to-back starts this month in which he allowed five-run first innings.
“With young pitchers, there’s going to be some times where there might be a little bit of a step back. It’s just a matter of how quick they can recover and use those experiences to try to make themselves better in the long haul,” Molitor said. “Those two first-inning five-spots, they didn’t overly concern me, but the way he responded the last time out indicates to some degree how he’s come along as a pitcher this year.”
With three starters out, and a lefthander, Derek Holland, pitching for the White Sox, Molitor has scrambled his lineup once again, leaving Max Kepler and Joe Mauer on the bench. Zack Granite, summoned to take Castro’s place on the roster, gets a start, as does catching prospect Mitch Garver — except he’s playing first base.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s finale in Chicago, before the Twins fly to Toronto for the weekend:
L. Garcia RF