THREE-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELD
Friday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
RHP Phil Hughes (8-6, 4.15) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (9-6, 3.77)
Saturday, 6:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
LHP Tommy Milone (5-2, .3.38) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.25)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
RHP Kyle Gibson (8-7, 3.19) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-2, 4.43)
The Twins return from a rough road trip to a nine-game homestand, during which they will play the Yankees, Pirates and Mariners. … The Twins were 3-4 against the Yankees last season, but took two of three in New York. It was a small victory in this lopsided battle. The Twins have won the season series against New York just once in the past 20 years. That came in 2001. And the Twins have lost 14 of 18 games to the Yankees at Target Field. … Hughes will make his third start against his former team. He’s 1-1 against them with a 5.65 ERA. The Yankees tagged him for seven runs over 6 1/3 innings in their last meeting on July 3, 2014. … Torii Hunter has faced Pineda three times with home runs in each of his past two at-bats against him. … Aaron Hicks homered off Sabathia the last time he faced him. … Kurt Suzuki is 7-for-31 against Sabathia, but four hits are home runs. … Joe Mauer might get Saturday off. He’s a .171 career hitter against Sabathia.
A year ago, Mark Teixeira batted .216 with 22 homers and 62 RBI. Alex Rodriguez was suspended. This year, they are key cogs in the offense. Teixeira has 24 home runs, and Rodriguez has 20. Both have walked at least 47 times. … The Yankee bullpen has been nails, led by closer Andrew Miller and relievers Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson. The Yankees entered Thursday 10th in bullpen ERA. … Betances, by the way, was at Yankee Stadium as a fan the day David Wells threw a perfect game at the Twins in 1998. … Chris Young is batting .371 against lefthanders. … The Yankees need to upgrade at second base, where Stephen Drew has been a significant disappointment. … In 2009, his first year as a Yankee, Sabathia’s fastball averaged 94.2 miles per hour. This year, it’s 89.7. … Jacoby Ellsbury is a career .318 hitter against Hughes. … A-Rod has never faced Hughes, his former teammate, but he’s 5-for-9 with a homer against Glen Perkins.
La VELLE E. NEAL III