|10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE11:10 AM CT, May 1, 2022
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 14,830
Byron Buxton's status unclear for Twins-Rays finale
Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays
- The last 48 games between the Rays and Twins hosted by Tampa Bay have seen each team score at least one run. The only two longer active such streaks are A's at Rangers (56) and Angels at Blue Jays (55).
- The Twins have won seven consecutive games for the team's longest single-season win streak since an eight-game streak in June 2011. It's also the team's longest win streak in April since the team won their last nine games of the month in the 1985 season.
- Dylan Bundy has an ERA of 0.59 and WHIP of 0.72 in his three starts in 2022. Prior to Bundy, the last two Twins/Senators pitchers to have both a sub-0.75 ERA and WHIP through their first three starts of a season are Ervin Santana (2017) and Walter Johnson (1913).
- Tampa Bay has won each of its last two games by one run and is 6-3 this season in games decided by one run. The nine games decided by a single run are tied for most in MLB in 2022 with Toronto.
- Corey Kluber allowed 11 hits to the Red Sox in his last outing, picking up his first loss of the season (on April 22). Kluber had gone 148 consecutive starts without giving up that many hits in a game, having given up 13 hits exactly seven years prior on April 22, 2015.
- In Thursday's 7-1 win over Detroit, Carlos Correa had season highs with three hits and three RBI. Prior to the game, Correa had three total RBI over his first 16 games as a member of the Twins.
- White Sox give RHP Clevinger 1-year deal
- Panel to consider Bonds, Clemens for HOF
- Harper has surgery, to miss start of '23
- Astros' postseason share a record $516K
- Red Sox give LHP Rodriguez 1-year deal
The Minnesota Twins and host Tampa Bay Rays have taken turns notching comfortable wins heading into Sunday's series finale, and the Twins are waiting to see about star center fielder Byron Buxton.
Without Buxton, who was scratched from Saturday's lineup due to a sore right hand, the Twins still pounded out 14 hits in winning 9-1. They have won eight of their last nine games. The bullpen also shut down Tampa Bay, tossing five shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
In Friday's game, which Tampa won 6-1, Buxton was hit by a Corey Kluber pitch. Images of the hand came back negative.
Second baseman Jorge Polanco hit leadoff in place of Buxton on Saturday, with Gilberto Celestino getting the nod in center field.
Buxton, hitting .271 with six homers and 11 RBIs, took batting practice on Saturday, but the speedy center fielder still was experiencing discomfort.
Meanwhile, Josh Lowe of the Rays is starting to show signs of heating up. On Friday, the rookie hit his first big league home run. He followed that up with a double on Saturday, collecting one of Tampa Bay's four hits.
"We've just got a lot of key components right now who are not doing what they typically do," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the struggling Rays' offense. "They'll get out of it."
The Rays had their three-game win streak snapped.
On Sunday, the Twins will start rookie right-hander Josh Winder (0-0, 3.48), who has never faced the Rays.
Winder, who was a candidate for the rotation before the Twins picked up Chris Paddack and Chris Archer in spring training, is making his first start after three relief appearances. In 10 1/3 innings, he has allowed four runs on seven hits, with three walks and five strikeouts.
He most recently pitched April 24 against the Chicago White Sox, surrendering one run and three hits with two strikeouts as the Twins prevailed 6-4.
With rosters expanded to 28 for April, the Twins are using their seventh starter this season. They have been going with a six-man rotation, but the impending roster reduction is expected to change that strategy. Teams will carry a maximum of 26 players, and they are limited to 13 pitchers.
"If that number shrinks going forward and does go down to 13, I don't want to say it would be impossible, but it would be very difficult to have a six-man rotation," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
The Twins made a roster move on Saturday to add long-relief depth. Right-hander Cole Sands was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul, and right-hander Bailey Ober, who has made four starts, has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 20, with a right groin strain.
As the Twins are using expanded roster spots to ease the workloads of their starting pitchers, injuries have caused the Rays to be more creative in piecing together their rotation. They have used nine starters in their first 21 games.
Sunday's starter is listed as left-hander Josh Fleming (2-2, 4.50 ERA). Three of his four appearances have been in relief, most recently on Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners. In two innings, he gave up seven runs -- all unearned -- and four hits, with a walk and two strikeouts.
Fleming is in his third season in the majors and has never faced the Twins.
The organization also is dealing with some COVID-19 issues with members of its coaching staff.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 1, 2022