CLEVELAND — The Kansas City Royals have the best record in the American League at 14-7, and that means a seven-game lead over the Twins (7-14) more than three weeks into the 2021 season.
The Twins have lost 12 of their past 14 heading into the second of a three-game series Tuesday (5 p.m., BSN) against Cleveland, which won 5-3 on Monday night. Closer Alexander Colome continued his dreadful April, and manager Rocco Baldelli had a miscue of his own.
Byron Buxton (knee) sat out Monday but is back in the lineup tonight. He'll hit third, with Nelson Cruz moving to the cleanup spot.
Baldelli said he spoke with Colome and let the reliever know he'd be used in "lower leverage" situations for the time being. Colome has three blown saves and three losses already this season.
Outfielders Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick, both on the COVID injury list, have tested negative and should be back for this weekend's series against the Royals at Target Field. Baldelli also thinks first baseman Miguel Sano (hamstring) could be ready to return soon.
Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.11 ERA) will try to rebound from an uneven month when he makes his fifth start, and fourth on the road. He was 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA against Cleveland last season. The only run against him came when he gave up a leadoff homer to Cesar Hernandez on Aug. 24 at Progressive Field.
In his last start on Wednesday in Oakland, Maeda went only three innings and matched his career high in runs allowed (7) in a 13-12 loss to the A's. He has allowed 35 base runners this season, eighth most in the AL.
Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.42) pitches for Cleveland (10-11).
Angels games rescheduled
The Twins had two games postponed in Anaheim during their three-day COVID-19 caused shutdown, and those games against the Los Angeles Angels will be played as a straight doubleheader on May 20 (3:07 p.m., Central time).
Both teams had off-days on the 20th.
The Twins will finish a home series against the White Sox on May 19, then fly to the West Coast for the games. They'll head to Cleveland after the twinbill to start a series on May 21, and that means 17 games in 16 days.
Luis Arraez, 2B
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Byron Buxton, CF
Nelson Cruz, DH
Alex Kirilloff, LF
Willians Astudillo, 1B
Jake Cave, RF
Mitch Garver, C
Andrelton Simmons, SS
Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Jordan Luplow, LF
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Eddie Rosario, LF
Franmil Reyes, DH
Josh Naylor, RB
Jake Bauers, 1B
Roberto Perez, C
Andres Gimenez, SS