TWO-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELD
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-7, 3.94 ERA) vs.
RHP Charlie Morton (6-4, 4.59 ERA)
Wednesday, 12:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
RHP Ervin Santana (2-0, 2.60) vs.
LHP Francisco Liriano (6-6, 2.91)
This is the final interleague series for both teams. The Twins are 8-10 in interleague games, the Pirates 11-7. But the Twins swept a two-game series in Pittsburgh in May, winning 8-5 and 4-3. They are 15-8 all-time against the Pirates, and have won all four series in Minnesota, going 8-4. … The Twins are 11-14 against teams that currently occupy playoff positions, but their 2-0 record vs. Pittsburgh is the only winning mark against such teams. … The Twins are 32-18 at Target Field but lost the final two games over the weekend against the Yankees, when they were outscored 15-2 over the final 15 innings. … They have scored two runs or fewer in five of their nine games since the All-Star break. … Pelfrey has pitched poorly after a good start to the season. Pelfrey, who has been working on a new slider, is 0-5 with a 6.87 ERA in his past seven starts. … Santana has been brilliant in three road starts for the Twins, posting a 0.76 ERA. But in his only Target Field start this year, he gave up six runs in four innings (13.50 ERA) against Detroit.
They are in roughly the same position as the Twins: They trail first-place St. Louis by six games in the NL Central but own a three-game lead for a wild-card spot. They lost five of their first six out of the break against the Brewers and Royals, but they took three out of four over the weekend from the Nationals. … They are 24-22 on the road. This is their first visit ever to Target Field. … Morton missed the season’s first six weeks because of a recurring hip problem, but when he returned, he was Pittsburgh’s best starter in June, going 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA. But he is 1-4 with a 7.76 ERA in his past six starts. … Liriano, a longtime Twins starter, gave up seven runs in two innings to his old team when they met in May, but he is 5.2 with a 2.10 ERA in 11 starts since then. … Former Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon was called up last week and is 1-for-8 in four appearances, while righthander Vance Worley, the Twins’ Opening Day starter in 2013, is 4-5 with a 3.78 ERA as Pittsburgh’s long reliever. And righthanded reliever Deolis Guerra, who was acquired by the Twins in the 2008 Johan Santana trade but never reached the majors in Minnesota, has a 3.14 ERA in the Pirates bullpen.