Interviews with Lewis, Kirilloff, and Jorge Lopez ahead of Twins series opener vs. Cleveland
Fresh off a series in Houston, the Twins return to Target Field for a 4-game series vs. Cleveland. The Twins lead the A.L. Central by 2 games over Detroit, 3.5 over the Guardians.
KSTP Sports was in the Twins’ clubhouse on Thursday afternoon and spoke with 3B Royce Lewis, OF/1B Alex Kirilloff, and reliever Jorge Lopez.
Note: Lopez has been pulled from two his last three outings before recording an out. It’s been a rough go, to say the least for the 2022 All-Star.
***Click the video box above to watch the interviews with Lewis, Kirilloff, and Lopez***
Two more notes from the Twins’ clubhouse: 2B Jorge Polanco was activated with Edouard Julien optioned to AAA and reliever Caleb Thielbar will fly back to Minneapolis Friday morning to be looked at by doctors. If all goes well, he’ll be activated. He threw another scoreless inning for AAA-St. Paul Thursday in Buffalo.
Below is a series preview from the Associated Press:
Cleveland Guardians (25-30, third in the AL Central) vs. Minnesota Twins (29-27, first in the AL Central)
Minneapolis; Thursday, 6:40 p.m.
PITCHING PROBABLES: Guardians: Tanner Bibee (1-1, 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 34 strikeouts); Twins: Pablo Lopez (3-3, 4.11 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 81 strikeouts)
BOTTOM LINE: The Cleveland Guardians play the Minnesota Twins after Josh Naylor had four hits against the Orioles on Wednesday.
Minnesota has a 29-27 record overall and a 16-12 record in home games. The Twins have the 10th-ranked team batting average in the AL at .232.
Cleveland has a 13-15 record in road games and a 25-30 record overall. The Guardians have a 5-2 record in games when they hit two or more home runs.
The matchup Thursday is the fourth meeting between these teams this season.
TOP PERFORMERS: Byron Buxton leads the Twins with a .221 batting average, and has nine doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 26 walks and 23 RBI. Willi Castro is 14-for-38 with two home runs and four RBI over the past 10 games.
Jose Ramirez has 16 doubles, two triples and six home runs for the Guardians. Naylor is 11-for-34 with four doubles, a home run and nine RBI over the last 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 4-6, .234 batting average, 3.64 ERA, outscored opponents by one run
Guardians: 5-5, .245 batting average, 3.44 ERA, outscored opponents by one run
INJURIES: Twins: Emilio Pagan: day-to-day (hip), Nick Gordon: 60-Day IL (shin), Trevor Larnach: 10-Day IL (pneumonia), Jorge Alcala: 15-Day IL (forearm), Tyler Mahle: 60-Day IL (arm), Caleb Thielbar: 15-Day IL (oblique strain), Kenta Maeda: 15-Day IL (tricep), Gilberto Celestino: 60-Day IL (thumb), Chris Paddack: 60-Day IL (elbow)
Guardians: Peyton Battenfield: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Triston McKenzie: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Aaron Civale: 15-Day IL (oblique), Cody Morris: 60-Day IL (shoulder)