It’s Future Hall of Famer week at Target Field, with Ichiro and the Marlins here for three games starting tonight, and David Ortiz and the Red Sox coming in this weekend. Ortiz, who incredibly leads the major leagues in slugging, OPS, doubles, runs scored and total bases, has already announced that this season is his last, meaning this weekend is the last chance for Twins fans to see him.
Ichiro? Well, that’s a different story. He’s 42 years old, the oldest position player in the game, but is still leading off and making a contribution to a team that’s in the playoff race in the National League. He’s 34 hits away from 3,000, and counting his 1,278 hits in Japan, he’s 12 hits from tying Pete Rose for the all-time pro baseball hits lead.
Maybe 2016 will be the end of Ichiro’s career. But with a .313 average coming in to this game, there’s a decent chance it won’t.
Pat Dean gets the start for the Twins, as they try to snap a three-game losing streak inflicted on them by Florida’s other team, the Rays, over the weekend. The Twins haven’t won a home series since April 25-27.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s opener of the three-game interleague series: