The last time he was in Detroit, Kenta Maeda recorded his first victory since undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Minnesota Twins right-hander will go for his fourth win this season when he returns to the Tigers‘ home park on Thursday afternoon
Maeda tossed five scoreless innings on June 23 to record that memorable win. He had lost his first four starts in April and returned from the injured list that day after recovering from a right triceps strain
Maeda hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his starts since he was activated. His last outing on Saturday was arguably his best this season, as he held Arizona to one run and two hits in six innings in a 12-1 Twins win. He didn’t issue a walk while recording seven strikeouts
Over his last eight starts, Maeda (3-6, 4.22 ERA) is 3-2 with a 2.47 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings
“Everything body-wise, arm, is feeling good. I keep saying this again and again, but there’s nothing concerning in the arm. If anything, I feel better than pre-surgery,” Maeda said recently
Mound opponent Reese Olson will be seeking his second career victory. The right-handed Olson (1-5, 4.94) has struggled in his last three outings, giving up at least four earned runs each time
His lone victory came at the Twins‘ expense, as he held them to one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings while striking out a season-high nine the day after Maeda won in Detroit
In his most recent start, Olson gave up four runs and five hits while walking three in five innings against Tampa Bay on Friday. Olson relies heavily on his slider and he didn’t spot it well against the Rays
“Execution is the key,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “If you saw some of the funny swings they had, that’s the same slider that when it’s middle-middle gets hit. It’s not as simplified as that all the time, but generally speaking, guys at this level don’t miss mistakes, especially good teams. The adjustment is to fine-tune the execution. You have to execute from the very beginning of the at-bat.
Torkelson had not homered since July 23 until blasting his team-best 16th and 17th long balls
“I wasn’t seeing the ball well the last week or two,” he said during a postgame TV interview. “Just went back to basics and tried to get a good pitch to hit.
Torkelson also leads the team in runs scored (56) and RBIs (61) despite a .225 batting average
“It changes in a heartbeat at this level,” Hinch said. “One good night can all of a sudden get you back on track.
Carlos Correa homered for the second time in the series for the Twins. He struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth, however
“I’ve been struggling all year,” Correa said earlier this week. “That’s no secret. I’m not going to put my head down and just give up and just say, ‘I’ll come back next year, and I’ll do it for the next five or so years.’ My mentality is just to go out there and figure it out every single day.
–Field Level Medi
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