DETROIT — Lance Lynn owns the longest streak of quality starts by a Twin this season, and also the highest ERA on the pitching staff. Such is the contradiction of the right-hander’s season.
Lynn will try to extend that streak of four straight games of six or more innings and three or fewer runs today in Comerica Park, on a mound he hasn’t stood upon since 2012. The Twins need a win today to take the series, perhaps a little more important given that their next stop is first-place Cleveland.
Paul Molitor hopes the Twins can ride the Lynn wave.
“The way his season has trended has been positive. It’s just been a matter of him getting back to being who he was when he was successful, which includes being able to pound the strike zone, use a lot of fastballs, trust his movement to get weak contact,” the Twins manager said. “He’s put together some pretty good starts, so he’s kind of got that going against these guys. He had a nice game against them last time, and we just hope that continues.”
Lynn’s streak started against the Tigers on May 22, when he shut them out for 6 2/3 innings in Target Field. He’s reduced his ERA, which was 8.37 after five April starts, to 5.08.
It’s not pitching that has held the Twins back lately, though. They managed only four hits on Wednesday against Matt Boyd and four Tiger relievers, and the entire lineup, save Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza and Eddie Rosario is slumping.
“It’s not really surprising to me. It’s just that we know that some of those people that are surrounding our hotter hitters are capable of jumping in at any time, and they have at times. It hasn’t been as consistent as we had hoped for some of those guys, but yeah, you’ve got to keep looking forward,” Molitor said. “You can’t talk about what we have or haven’t done at this point. You go out there today, and in a couple hours we’ll get a chance and hopefully some of these guys get going.”
Here are the lineups for the 12:10 CDT start: