Rockies at Twins (Game 1)
The Minnesota Twins look to set a franchise record of 17 consecutive contests with a home run on Thursday, when they play a split doubleheader to conclude their three-game interleague series against the visiting Colorado Rockies. Byron Buxton belted a solo shot in Tuesday's series-opening 7-3 setback to tie the mark of 16 straight games with a homer set by the 1979 club, but the bats were held at bay as inclement weather forced the postponement of Wednesday's contest.
Colorado's Charlie Blackmon launched a towering two-run homer Tuesday to cap his second straight three-hit performance and improve to 8-for-12 with four runs scored in his last three games. Ian Desmond is enjoying quite the run as well, going 7-for-19 with two doubles and three RBIs during his season-high five-game hitting streak. While the Rockies have won three straight contests away from Coors Field to improve to a franchise-best 12-5 on the road, Minnesota is mired in a three-game skid at home and fell to 8-11 at Target Field. The Twins will turn to Ervin Santana in the opener, with the veteran right-hander having allowed fewer than two runs in seven of his eight outings this season.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies RH German Marquez (1-2, 4.88 ERA) vs. Twins RH Ervin Santana (6-1, 1.50)
Marquez recorded his second scoreless outing in his last three trips to the mound on May 10, as he did not surrender a hit through six innings and just three over eight in a 3-0 win versus the Chicago Cubs. The 22-year-old Venezuelan rookie retired 16 straight batters at one point and struck out eight for the second time in three contests. Marquez added his first major-league hit with a two-run single, earning himself an ovation from his teammates.
Like Marquez, Santana also has produced two scoreless outings in his last three starts and did himself one better on Friday by allowing just two hits over seven frames in a 1-0 victory at Cleveland. The 34-year-old Dominican worked his way out of trouble as he issued five walks, raising his total to 21 in 54 innings this season. Santana, who has permitted six homers among his nine runs allowed in 2017, owns a 2-1 record and 6.31 ERA in four career starts versus Colorado.
1. Minnesota 2B Brian Dozier has hit safely in five straight contests overall and is riding an interleague hitting streak of 15 games.
2. Colorado LF Gerardo Parra belted a solo homer in the series opener, marking his second hit in 13 at-bats (six strikeouts).
3. The Twins are 6-12 when their starting pitcher throws fewer than six innings.