CHICAGO — The Twins’ lineup “looks a little strange today,” Paul Molitor said as he posted it. That’s because Joe Mauer isn’t in it, both Byron Buxton and Danny Santana are, and Kurt Suzuki is batting sixth, higher than he has been at any point this season.
No big mystery for the changes: Mauer, who has appeared in 75 of the Twins’ 77 games this season, is finishing up a .223 month of June, while Suzuki is batting .377 this month with 14 RBIs.
“We’ve talked about [finding] Joe a chance to get a day off, since he’s been out there pretty much every day,” Molitor said. “Kurt, back in there after playing the last couple of night games, I just feel with this matchup and the fact he’s been feeling good and swinging good, I want him back in there today.”
The matchup is with young lefthander Carlos Rodon, who is only 2-6 this season, but with a decent 4.09 ERA.
For the Twins, Tommy Milone gets another chance to show he’s more than a Class AAA pitcher. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings in New York last Friday.
“He seems to do really well the first time around, and then guys make adjustments and it gets tougher for him to get guys out the second and third times,” Molitor said. “Hopefully, he’s got a plan in place he can execute and give us a chance to get us at least into the middle innings.”
Here are the lineups for the final game of this six-game road trip: