Twins pregame interviews, Aug. 18: Jose Miranda still weeks away from returning to game action

Twins pregame interviews, Aug. 18 (Miranda, Wallner, Kepler, Jeffers)

Twins infielder Jose Miranda admitted that there’s been some regret this season as he’s battled a shoulder injury since spring training.

Still at least three weeks away from returning to game action, it’s been a lost year in many ways.

Miranda is hitting .211 with four doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs in 38 major league games this year.

KSTP Sports spoke with Miranda, along with Matt Wallner, Max Kepler, and Ryan Jeffers pregame Friday.

***Click the video box above to watch those interviews***

The Twins begin a 3-game series vs. Pittsburgh at Target Field Friday night. The Twins lead Cleveland by 4.5 games in the A.L. Central.

Twins-Pirates series preview, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Pittsburgh Pirates (54-67, fourth in the NL Central) vs. Minnesota Twins (63-59, first in the AL Central)

Game 1 Minneapolis; Friday, 7:10 p.m.

PITCHING PROBABLES: Pirates: Andre Jackson (0-0, 5.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 28 strikeouts); Twins: Pablo Lopez (8-6, 3.66 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 180 strikeouts)

BOTTOM LINE: The Minnesota Twins play the Pittsburgh Pirates after Edouard Julien had four hits against the Tigers on Wednesday.

Minnesota is 63-59 overall and 34-25 in home games. The Twins have gone 43-11 in games when they scored at least five runs.

Pittsburgh has a 25-35 record in road games and a 54-67 record overall. The Pirates have a 40-5 record in games when they have more hits than their opponents.

The teams meet Friday for the first time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Donovan Solano has 22 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI for the Twins. Max Kepler is 11-for-36 with a double and four home runs over the last 10 games.

Bryan Reynolds has 23 doubles, four triples and 18 home runs for the Pirates. Ke’Bryan Hayes is 15-for-40 with three doubles, a triple and three home runs over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 5-5, .244 batting average, 4.81 ERA, outscored by five runs

Pirates: 4-6, .232 batting average, 5.76 ERA, outscored by 13 runs

INJURIES: Twins: Willi Castro: 10-Day IL (oblique), Byron Buxton: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Brock Stewart: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose De Leon: 60-Day IL (elbow), Joe Ryan: 15-Day IL (groin), Alex Kirilloff: 10-Day IL (shoulder), Jose Miranda: 10-Day IL (shoulder), Jorge Alcala: 60-Day IL (forearm), Nick Gordon: 60-Day IL (shin), Tyler Mahle: 60-Day IL (arm), Chris Paddack: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Pirates: Joshua Palacios: day-to-day (illness), Carmen Mlodzinski: 15-Day IL (elbow), Dauri Moreta: 15-Day IL (back), Tucupita Marcano: 60-Day IL (knee), Ji-Hwan Bae: 10-Day IL (ankle), Vince Velasquez: 60-Day IL (elbow), Oneil Cruz: 60-Day IL (ankle), JT Brubaker: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jarlin Garcia: 60-Day IL (arm), Max Kranick: 60-Day IL (elbow)