TORONTO — The Twins have faced Mark Buehrle more than any pitcher in franchise history (and lost to him 29 times, also the most ever), so there are a lot of memorable matchups. But the game he pitched in Target Field on May 27 was one of the quirkiest.
The veteran left-hander allowed hits to five of the first Twins to hit, and was in so much trouble, the Blue Jays began warming up a reliever. But then he allowed only one of the final 26 batters to get a hit, and he finished with a complete-game victory — the first time in six years that a pitcher had given up a four-run inning and still pitched a complete game.
The Twins wouldn’t mind another first inning like that one tonight, because it seems like they’re always playing from behind lately. They’ve lost nine of their last 11 games, have fallen two games behind the Blue Jays, and are in danger of becoming a .500 team tonight for the first time since May 2.
Brian Dozier is back in the leadoff spot tonight, in part because he is a .429 hitter (3-for-7) against Buehrle. Aaron Hicks, 11-for-20 (.550) against left-handers over the past two weeks, has been moved down to sixth in the order, perhaps to put him in RBI spots.
Kyle Gibson is on the mound for the Twins; he allowed eight hits but only one earned run against the Jays in May. He’s never pitched in Rogers Centre.
Here are the lineups for the final game of this four-game series, with the Twins trying to snap a four-game losing streak: