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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Preview and Predictions 04-18-2019 in MLB


Marwin Gonzalez has responded after sitting out the series opener with four hits and hopes to build off that while leading the Minnesota Twins to a split of the four-game set Thursday afternoon against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Gonzalez was 5-for-34 to start the season after signing a two-year $21 million deal with the Twins, but homered in Tuesday's loss and singled home a run in the 4-1 win Wednesday to improve to 4-for-7 in the series.

Slugger Nelson Cruz also came through for Minnesota with two RBIs on Wednesday to raise his batting average to .313 while teammate Jorge Polanco (.429) continued his hot start with a pair of hits and is 9-for-16 his past four contests. Michael Pineda will try to give the Twins another strong outing when he takes the mound Thursday and the Blue Jays counter with veteran right-hander Clay Buchholz, who impressed in his first start with the club last time out. Toronto had won three of four games before leaving six runners on base in Wednesday's setback, being limited to Justin Smoak's RBI single in the first inning. Shortstop Freddy Galvis has been the best hitter for the Blue Jays all season (.338, five homers, 11 RBIs) and he finished 2-for-4 with a run scored in Wednesday's defeat.

TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), FS North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Clay Buchholz (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Twins RH Michael Pineda (2-0, 3.00)

Buchholz was outstanding in his debut with the Blue Jays after signing as a free agent, limiting Tampa Bay to one run on six hits over six innings. The 34-year-old Texan, who was 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA in his comeback season with Arizona in 2018, struck out a pair and did not walk a batter Saturday. Cruz (5-for-15) and C.J. Cron (2-for-2) have each homered versus Buchholz, who is 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) against Minnesota.



Pineda has put together three straight solid starts to open his first season with the Twins while permitting five runs on 13 hits across 15 total innings. The 30-year-old Dominican Republic native, who missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, has struck out 15 and walked just two. Smoak is 5-for-10 with two homers against Pineda, who gave up 10 runs on 19 hits over eight innings versus Toronto in 2017.

WALK-OFFS

1. Toronto INF Eric Sogard is 4-for-8 with a walk and two runs scored since being recalled earlier in the week.

2. Minnesota RHP Blake Parker is 4-for-4 in save opportunities after striking out two in the ninth inning for another Wednesday.

3. The Blue Jays have just four stolen bases for 28th in the majors and the Twins are tied for last with three.

Prediction

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Target Field
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Capacity: 42,035

Last Injuries

Minnesota Twins

  • Adalberto Mejia

    Calf
    Early July | 60-day IL

    Mejia has been transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list due to a right calf strain. He is not expected to rejoin the team prior to the start of July.

  • Jonathan Schoop

    Ankle
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Schoop has not played in the past two games due to a sore right ankle, leaving his status for Tuesday's series opener against the Rays clouded.

  • Marwin Gonzalez

    Hamstring
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Gonzalez is on the 10-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain, and there is no timetable for recovery.

  • Jose Berrios

    Finger
    Prob Fri | probable

    Berrios was forced from his last start with a ring finger blister, but he is expected to make his next scheduled start Friday against the White Sox.

  • Mitch Garver

    Heel
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Garver sat out the previous game with left heel soreness, and it is uncertain if he will be available against the Rays on Tuesday.

  • Byron Buxton

    Wrist
    Early July | 10-day IL

    Buxton has landed on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist contusion, but he is gearing up to return by the start of July.

  • Ehire Adrianza

    Abdominal
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Adrianza has been designated for the 10-day injured list with an abdominal issue. He will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Blake Parker

    Personal
    Prob Sat | probable

    Parker has been activated from the family medical emergency list, and he is expected to return to the bullpen for Saturday's contest versus the Royals.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Ryan Tepera

    Elbow
    Early Aug | 60-day IL

    Tepera has been transferred to the 60-day injured list while recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. He is not expected to return until the beginning of August.

  • Jacob Waguespack

    Shoulder
    Early July | 10-day IL

    Waguespack has been designated for the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain. He is expected to remain away from the team until at least the start of July.

  • Justin Smoak

    Quadricep
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Smoak has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left quadriceps strain. A timetable for recovery has yet to be established.

  • Edwin Jackson

    Back
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Jackson has landed on the 10-day injured list with a lower-back strain and will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Elvis Luciano

    Elbow
    Out indefinitely | 60-day IL

    Luciano has been transferred to the 60-day injured list with a right elbow sprain. A timetable for return has yet to be established.

  • Teoscar Hernandez

    Wrist
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Hernandez has been held out of the past two games with a sprained left wrist, leaving his status in question for Thursday's battle against the Angels.

  • Ken Giles

    Elbow
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Giles has been activated from the 10-day injured list after recovering from inflammation in his right elbow. He is expected to be available against the Angels on Thursday.

  • David Phelps

    Elbow
    Prob Mon | probable

    Phelps has been activated from the 60-day injured list following his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He is expected to be available for Monday's contest against the Angels.

minnesota-twins Stats 2019

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Luis Arraez 15 11 39 8 17 3 0 1 4 23 1 2 0 .436 .590 .521
Jorge Polanco 73 72 301 48 98 22 5 11 38 163 2 48 3 .326 .542 .383
Mitch Garver 38 30 126 27 37 7 1 11 28 79 0 35 0 .294 .627 .382
C.J. Cron 69 66 260 34 73 16 0 17 50 140 0 55 0 .281 .538 .344
Max Kepler 70 67 274 51 75 19 0 19 51 151 1 48 4 .274 .551 .351
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Ryne Harper 33 0 92 30 0 25 4 0 8 0 0 0 7 498
Trevor May 32 0 79 26 1 20 1 1 10 0 0 4 16 515
Taylor Rogers 29 0 102 42 4 31 4 1 8 0 0 0 7 532
Blake Parker 28 0 79 22 2 22 6 0 13 0 0 0 10 444
Matt Magill 22 0 66 26 2 24 2 1 14 0 0 0 12 396
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Jason Castro 38 36 0 19 3 1 0 3
Willians Astudillo 37 30 0 9 2 3 0 0
Mitch Garver 38 30 0 7 4 3 0 3
Byron Buxton 65 61 0 0 0 2 5 0
C.J. Cron 69 66 0 0 0 6 0 0