The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins share similar records, but one team's regular lineup is healthier
While neither team is off to the scorching start of the Tampa Bay Rays, both take 8-4 records into the opener of a four-game series that starts Thursday night in New York.
The Yankees have won eight of their first 12 games by winning close games. For the third time in the past 20 seasons New York has captured its first four series, including four wins by three or fewer runs
New York won another series Wednesday afternoon when it rallied for a 4-3 victory over the host Cleveland Guardians. After facing a three-run deficit through four innings, Kyle Higashioka hit an RBI single and Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored on an error on the same play before Franchy Cordero hit a tying homer in the seventh and Oswaldo Cabrera hit a go-ahead single in the ninth.
"That was a great come from behind win," manager Aaron Boone said. "I felt like our at-bats were like in the first game where we were hitting the ball hard."
Minnesota heads to New York after going 4-2 against the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox during its first homestand.
The Twins are off their quick start despite putting Joey Gallo on the injured list with a right intercostal strain earlier this week and losing Max Kepler to a knee injury although both players are expected to return quickly. Minnesota also held Carlos Correa out of the previous four games due to back tightness though the shortstop is expected to return Thursday
In Wednesday's 3-1 win, Minnesota also lost Kyle Farmer to a jaw injury when he was hit by a Lucas Giolito fastball in the fourth inning. Farmer underwent oral surgery to realign four teeth and repair a laceration near his jaw.
"They're amazing. I barely had the ability to do my job, and they're going out there and playing," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. "They went out there and did everything they could possibly do to come together and win this ballgame."
Minnesota also saw Byron Buxton sustain an abrasion on his forehead during a collision with Chicago second baseman Lenyn Sosa on the bases. Buxton will be evaluated before Thursday's game after being heavily taped up following Wednesday's contest.
Whoever is in Minnesota's lineup will face New York rookie Jhonny Brito (2-0, 0.90 ERA), who makes his third career start.
Brito made his major league debut with five innings of two-hit ball in a 6-0 home win over the San Francisco Giants on April 2. He followed it up by allowing one run on three hits in five innings during Saturday's 4-1 victory at Baltimore.
Minnesota heads to New York with a 2.50 ERA that is second in the majors behind Tampa Bay and Joe Ryan (2-0, 3.75) will open the series. Ryan last pitched Saturday when he allowed four runs on three hits -- including a grand slam to Houston's Yordan Alvarez -- while also striking out 10.
Ryan is hoping his second career start against the Yankees goes better than his first. On Sept. 7 in New York, he allowed a grand slam to Kiner-Falefa in the fourth inning of a 4-1 loss when he tossed four innings
--Field Level Media