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Sonny Gray, Twins pursue series win over Guardians

Sat Jun 3 6:32am ET
Field Level Media


It's unclear if the Minnesota Twins will play Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Carlos Correa or Joey Gallo when they face the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

However, if the Twins pitch the way they did throughout their 1-0 win over Cleveland on Friday, it may not matter.

Buxton left the series opener on Thursday, a 7-6 Minnesota win, shortly after being hit by a pitch in the fourth inning.

Correa hurt his left foot while warming up between innings on Thursday and was replaced by Kyle Farmer in the top of the seventh -- the same inning Kepler left the game with a migraine. Gallo was given Friday off, but Kepler returned to go 1-for-4.

Minnesota will look to seal the series victory on Saturday behind their ace, right-hander Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.94 ERA).

While Gray allowed just 10 earned runs over 25 1/3 innings spanning five starts in May (3.55 ERA), the Twins had little to show for it.

Minnesota went 1-4 in games Gray started last month and would have gone winless if it hadn't rallied for a 7-5, 10-inning win against the Houston Astros on Monday in his latest outing. Gray allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six-plus innings.

Gray hasn't been dominant against the Guardians, going 6-4 with a 3.63 ERA in 16 career starts. He faced Cleveland on May 6 and yielded three runs on four hits in five innings, with three walks and six strikeouts.

The Twins hope Gray can duplicate the start turned in by Bailey Ober on Friday. Ober allowed four hits and no walks with three strikeouts in six innings before Jovani Moran, Brock Stewart and closer Jhoan Duran combined to blank the Guardians over the final three innings.

After coming off the 10-day injured list before Thursday's game, Minnesota's Jorge Polanco hit a double off the right-field wall in the seventh inning on Friday to drive in the game's lone run.

"We are just playing really good right now," said Polanco, whose team took two of three games against the Houston Astros before winning the first two games against Cleveland. "Everyone here just competes, gives everything they have, and we just win."

The Guardians went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Friday, and they stranded nine baserunners.

Cleveland will give the ball to left-hander Logan Allen (2-2, 2.72 ERA), who is coming off the best start of his brief career.

The 24-year-old rookie allowed just three hits while recording a career-high 10 strikeouts and walking two over seven innings in a 5-0 win over the host Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

"Anytime we look up and somebody's pitching into the seventh, you're generally feeling pretty good," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "But he's learning on the job, and he's doing a pretty good job of it."

Allen got a no-decision on May 6 against Gray and the Twins. He allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three over 5 2/3 innings.

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