Twins Daily: Angels will open series with 21-year-old Tyler Chatwood
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Mired in a 1-5 slide, the Minnesota Twins will try again to halt their season-long woes when they open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday at Target Field, with Scott Baker facing rookie right-hander Tyler Chatwood.
5-13: The Twins' record in this season's 18 home games, which rank as the fewest in baseball. Since starting the season 4-3 at Target Field, the Twins have dropped 10 of their last 11 there.
5: Shutouts suffered by the Twins this season, the most recent a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
8: Shutouts the Twins suffered all of last season.
0: Hits for Angels OF Torii Hunter in nine plate appearances against Baker, his former Twins teammate.
4: Home runs hit by Jim Thome against current Angels pitchers, including two against ace and probable Sunday starter Dan Haren, who has allowed six hits and two home runs to Thome in 13 at-bats (.462).
• Placed on the disabled list on Wednesday for the second time this season, RHP Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) was sent immediately to Florida to begin rehabilitation. Slowey said he was told to rest the injury for seven to 10 days. He likely will be optioned to Class-AAA Rochester once he's healthy to let him stretch out again as a starter.
• C Joe Mauer (soreness/weakness) was scheduled to work out but not play in an extended spring training game on Thursday, a day after going 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in Fort Myers. "He's progressing," minor-league field coordinator Joel Lepel told the News-Press. "He had a good day. There is no timetable. We want to get him into position to play the rest of the season. He's giving an effort. We're going to be patient and cautious."
• RF/2B Michael Cuddyer (hip tightness) has remained out of the Twins lineup for the past two games, but he was available for pinch-hitting duties on Wednesday.
Baker (2-3, 4.12 ERA) is coming off a no-decision on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he had seven strikeouts in five innings, giving him 55 in 54 2/3 innings this season. The right-hander will look to add to that total on Friday night (7:10 p.m., 1500 ESPN) against the Angels, whose batters lead the American League with 375 total strikeouts.
Baker has pitched well against the Angels in his career, giving up only four extra-base hits and holding current Angels to a .247 batting average in 90 plate appearances. He'll be matched up against fellow right-hander Chatwood (3-2, 4.06), a former second-round pick who made his major-league debut on April 11 in a loss to the Cleveland Indians.
The 21-year-old California native has a big curveball and a fastball that tops out in the mid-90 mph range. He pitched seven innings in his last start, gave up only one run for the fourth time in nine starts and recorded six strikeouts in a win against Atlanta.
• Saturday: vs. Angels, 6:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-5, 5.73) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (6-4, 2.35).
• Sunday: vs. Angels, 1:10 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (2-4, 5.28) vs. RHP Dan Haren (4-3, 2.24).
• Monday: at Detroit, 12:05 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (4-4, 3.20) vs. RHP Brad Penny (4-4, 4.45).