CHICAGO – Eddie Rosario has heard about Wrigley Field and some of its history.
"So, I want to see it," Rosario said.
The last time the Twins played at Wrigley Field was 2009, so many of the current Twins on Friday will play in its friendly confines for the first time. One benefit of playing an interleague schedule is visiting cities and stadiums that teams normally don't play in.
And Wrigley Field, despite a $575 million renovation in 2014, is still considered part ballpark, part landmark and part museum.
"I'm excited," second baseman Brian Dozier said. "I'm looking forward to it. It should be good."
Dozier has played in every stadium in the league except four — Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Chase Field in Phoenix, SunTrust Park in Atlanta and Wrigley.
Both Rosario and righthander Jose Berrios are friends with fellow Puerto Rican and Cubs star infielder Javier Baez. Berrios has a closer bond with Baez, as they grew up in the city of Bayamon together and Baez dates his sister-in-law.
Those connections gives Berrios, Friday's starting pitcher, a leg up on some of his teammates: He attended a 2016 World Series game in Wrigley.
"That was special for me," Berrios said. "And Baez may play [Friday] and I get to pitch against him. We know each other from high school and growing up in Bayamon. That's why [Friday] is going to be special for me."
Berrios, who is matching up with Cubs lefthander Mike Montgomery, is looking to continue a roll that began when he won at St. Louis on May 15. In his past eight starts, Berrios has given up two or fewer runs seven times.
It's a start
No matter what Jake Odorizzi threw to White Sox catcher Kevan Smith with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Smith refused to back down against the Twins righthander.
So the battle went on until Smith flew out to right field — on the 14th pitch of the at-bat.
"I was just throwing the best I had out there, whatever I had left," Odorizzi said. "I made some good pitches out of whatever it was, 14-15 pitches. Sometimes it doesn't get put in play, but this time it went in our favor. I just kept challenging and someone was going to come out ahead."
The at-bat pushed Odorizzi's pitch count to a season-high 112, and ended his day. But he got through six shutout innings, only the third time he has had a scoreless outing in 17 starts. He entered Thursday with a 7.52 ERA over his previous five starts and has been trying to figure out what the problem is.
He tinkered with his delivery between starts — helping him be on a straighter line toward home plate — and said he believes he is in a better place.
"Making adjustments between start to start, it's just nice to see the results from the work I've been putting in," he said. "Something different I was doing to get back to that feel."
It worked, as Odorizzi struck out eight batters and lowered his ERA from 4.97 to 4.62. He said he believes he has had an outing that he can take off from and be the pitcher he wants to be.
Max Kepler drew the bases-loaded walk in the 13th inning that scored Logan Morrison with the winning run. But Kepler didn't enter the game until the seventh, coming in an inning after Taylor Motter crashed into the right field fence while chasing a drive by Yoan Moncada.
Motter said he injured his sternum on the play and is taking a painkiller, but he left the clubhouse without any signs of distress.
"The biggest thing I thought initially was maybe [a] bruised sternum or something like that," manager Paul Molitor said. "We're getting him checked out to make sure everything is OK from actual physical injury to how his brain survived the collision. We're going to monitor him in the near-term."