THREE-GAME SERIES AT MINUTE MAID PARK

Friday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, MLBN, 96.3-FM

RHP Mike Pelfrey (6-8, 3.85) vs. RHP Collin McHugh (14-7, 3.92)

Saturday, 6:10 p.m. • FSN, MLBN, 96.3-FM

RHP Ervin Santana (3-4, 5.40) vs. RHP Lance McCullers (5-5, 3.21)

Sunday, 1:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM

RHP Tyler Duffey (2-1, 4.56) vs. RHP Dallas Keuchel (16-6, 2.24)

 

TWINS UPDATE

Danny Santana pinch hit in the eighth inning then took over in center field Thursday, which is likely the way he’s going to be used during the playoff push. … Kennys Vargas didn’t have to be told what role he would fill: “Pinch hitter,” he said. But he got to start at first base and went 1-for-2 with two walks Thursday. … The Twins have never lost a series in Houston. They were 5-3 at the Astrodome in three visits there and are 6-3 in three series at Minute Maid Park. … Eduardo Escobar has gotten most of the reps at short, but will Eduardo Nunez get a shot in Houston? He’s homered off McCullers and McHugh the last time he’s faced them.

ASTROS UPDATE

The Astros lost two of three games at Target Field last weekend, but the Twins didn’t face their two big shooters. The Twins will see them this weekend in Keuchel and McHugh. Keuchel, the All-Star Game starter for the American League, is a ground-ball inducer who has upped his strikeout rate to 8.1 per nine innings. He’s been unstoppable at home — 12-0 at Minute Maid Park with a 1.35 ERA. … McHugh is one of the more entertaining pitchers in the game because he throws a jackhammer curve to go with a low-90s fastball and slider. He will be pitching on seven days’ rest. … Houston lost two of three to Seattle e 3 Grand slams hit by the Twins this season.

12 Consecutive games in which Eduardo Escobar has scored a run, tied for third most in Twins history.

14 Outfield assists for Eddie Rosario after he threw out Abreu in the seventh inning.

423 In feet, the estimated distance of Rosario’s grand slam in the third.

4-2 Twins’ record in the homestand.

arlier this week, their first home series loss since late May. They had won or tied their previous 12 series at home.

LA VELLE E. NEAL III