Twins’ position: Thursday night’s loss dropped Minnesota into a tie with the L.A. Angels a game and a half behind Houston for the final American League wild card spot. The Angels are surging and the Astros begin a do-or-die series with the Rangers. Time is running out and the math gets tricky but the bottom line is: Win now or be sorry.
Twins game remaining: 10 (3 home, 7 road)
Games to watch today: 3
Twins at Tigers (6:08 p.m., FSN): Although Detroit is among the biggest disappointments in baseball this season, this series is no cinch. At 6-10 with a 4.16 ERA, Mike Pelfrey has been anything but stellar for Minnesota. But the Tigers counter with Matt Boyd on the bump at Comerica Park, and the Twins might as well feast. Boyd, acquired in the David Price trade with Toronto, showed signs of improvement his last time out against Kansas City but still carries a 7.40 ERA. Time to tee off?
Texas at Houston (7:10 p.m., ESPN2): Good news, Twins fans: The Rangers have won seven straight over the Astros and with this Texas-sized weekend series can take a major step toward their first AL West title in four years by adding losses to Houston’s record. Texas gives the ball to Yovani Gallardo on Friday, a pitcher who owns a 15-4 all-time record against Houston with a 3.09 ERA. The Rangers have won nine of 11, including a four-game home sweep of the Astros from Sept. 14-17.
Seattle at L.A. Angels (9:05 p.m., No local TV) The Mariners decided to give ace Felix Hernandez and his stiff throwing elbow one more day off, pushing his start to Saturday. That means the Angels begin a favorable six-game homestand with Garrett Richards, who is having a career season, facing Seattle’s Vidal Nuno on Friday night. Nuno has a 4-18 career big league record and lasted only 3.1 innings his last start. Groaning Twins fans can be heard all the way to the Pacific Northwest.
Here are the standings in the wild-card race.
Remaining schedule for teams in the AL wild card hunt:
Information from the Associated Press was used in this blog post.