Kenta Maeda pitches as Twins seeks series win in Milwaukee


MILWAUKEE — Kenta Maeda pitches for the Twins tonight (6:10, FSN) as the Twins finish their three-game series against the Brewers at Miller Park.

Maeda is 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA. Lefthander Eric Lauer (0-1, 9.53) is pitching for Milwaukee.

No roster move yet for the Twins after acquiring Ildemaro Vargas on Tuesday. Vargas will have to pass a COVID-19 screening in Minneapolis before he is activated. It’s an off-day Thursday before the Twins start a four-game series against the Royals at Target Field.

But first, they have to get through the final game of this road trip, a road trip that already has been a clunker.

The Twins are 2-5 on the eight game road swing. The offense has sputtered and the bullpen has been exploited. They have underperformed and have been walked off once. Closer Taylor Rogers probably won’t be available tonight after appearing in each of the first two games of the series. I made a little bit of a big deal about his struggles on back-to-back days, and the numbers don’t lie.

There’s another aspect to that, too. Jedd Gyorko, who hit the big two-run home run on Tuesday, pointed out that he picked up a couple things on Monday when he faced Rogers that he was able to use a night later.

“Yeah, that was big, » Gyorko said. « It helped me lay off the slider so I was in better position to take advantage when he made a mistake.”

The Twins look like a team in need of an off-day, and they are getting one on Thursday.

Thursday’s off day is their second of the season, and then they’ll play 20 days in a row (assuming no rainouts) before Sept. 2. There are four off-days in September.

Patrick Reusse has joined me here for the final two games and blogged about Tuesday’s loss.

UPDATES: Rich Hill (shoulder) threw in the bullpen Tuesday and is eager to return to the rotation. The Twins, however, will have him face hitters once before they activate him.

Homer Bailey (biceps) remains on a throwing program, so he will be out several more days.

Jake Odorizzi, Jose Berrios and Randy Dobnak will pitch the first three games of the Royals series with the flexible TBA listed for the series finale on Monday.

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La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won’t miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.


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