CHICAGO — The last time the Twins turned to a starting pitcher with great numbers for Class AAA Rochester — gee, it’s been four days ago — it couldn’t have worked out much better. Aaron Slegers allowed only a couple of hits, and put the Twins in position to win their finale against the Indians on Thursday.
They haven’t lost since, and it’s a pretty loose, confident Twins team that takes the field tonight for a doubleheader against the White Sox. They’re now four games above .500 for the first time since they were 45-41, two days before the All-Star break, and the prospect of holding their ground in the standings, or even improve their position, is strong. The White Sox have lost six of their last eight, have traded off may of their best veterans, and the Twins are 4-1 in this ballpark.
Tim Melville inherits all those positive indicators, and his three games of MLB experience with the Reds, even though they didn’t go particularly well, gives Twins manager Paul Molitor confidence that the Twins will get a good outing from the 27-year-old righthander, who owned a 2.70 ERA in 11 games with the Red Wings.
“You look at those [new] guys when you meet them face-to-face,” Molitor said. Melville had “a fairly calm demeanor, given the fact that he’s coming up here and pitching a big game for us.”
Melville will be opposed by Carlos Rodon for the White Sox, a lefthander who has a 3.60 ERA in seven career starts against the Twins.
With the eclipse (and the Twins’ pregame sky watching) over, the sun is shining at Guaranteed Rate Field, where the teams will play two games. Here is the starting lineup for Game 1:
L. Garcia LF
A. Garcia RF