With Joe Mauer on the disabled list and Logan Morrison playing first base in his absence, the role of designated hitter figures to be passed around for the next week or so. On Sunday, manager Paul Molitor, impressed with Jake Cave’s big-league debut one day earlier, gave the assignment to the rookie.
“We’re just trying to find ways to add offense to our lineup, as we’ve adjusted to missing a few people,” Molitor said. “I thought he took good at-bats last night. It was only three, but I thought he was competitive.”
The fact that Cave bats left-handed, and the Brewers will use a right-hander with a lively fastball in Junior Guerra today, made the decision even easier, Molitor said. “[Guerra] fits his swing pretty well,” Molitor said. “We’ll see if he has another good day.”
The Twins could use one from Jake Odorizzi, too, as they try to salvage the finale of this three-game series with Milwaukee. Odorizzi, who was originally drafted by the Brewers before being traded while still at Class A, has allowed only one run over his last 11 innings, and issued just one walk in his last start. Guerra, on the other hand, has been trending in the opposite direction — after allowing only three total runs in four April starts, he’s allowed 11 runs in 16 innings in May.
“Jake has been throwing the ball really well,” Molitor said. “He’s been able to use that splitter a little bit more consistently. He knows how to elevate the fastball [to] get swings and misses.”
The Brewers, who have outscored the Twins 13-7 in taking the first two games at Target Field, haven’t swept a three-game series from the Twins since 2011, and they haven’t done it in Minnesota since 1988, so there’s a little bit of border-battle history at stake today. Here are the lineups for the finale: