The Chicago Cubs hope they have regained their offensive form that led to some consistent success through the first month of the season
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Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins continue to have their issues at the plate
Following a late surge to take the opener of a three-game set, the Cubs will aim for a third straight victory on Saturday at Minneapolis
Chicago totaled 22 runs, and no more than four in any game, during a 2-6 stretch prior to a 10-4 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. The Cubs followed that triumph by overcoming a 2-0 hole, scoring two runs in the seventh and three in the ninth, en route to a 6-2 victory over the Twins on Friday
“We just continue to pass it on to the next guy,” said Cubs manager David Ross, whose team averaged 5.8 runs while starting 11-6 but is putting up 4.3 per game while going 8-13 since
“All the way around, just really good at-bats (Friday). Collectively, good team approach.”
Chicago’s Ian Happ, who had three hits on Friday, is 10-for-28 (.357) in the past seven games and has reached base in 19 straight. Meanwhile, Christopher Morel delivered a towering two-run homer in the ninth to break open a 3-2 game. Morel is 6-for-13 (.462) with two homers and five RBIs in three games since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa this week.
Minnesota, meanwhile, managed just four hits overall and two second-inning runs in the series opener. The Twins lead the American League Central, but they are 4-6 in May, are hitting a major-league-worst .218 and have been held to three or fewer runs five times in the past seven games
“It feels like we’ve played a very similar — really the same — game routinely right now,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We need to create some separation in some of these games.”
Minnesota’s Byron Buxton walked on Friday, but he is 0-for-23 in his past seven games. Meanwhile, teammate Carlos Correa doubled in the opener, but he is batting just .193 on the season and has just one multi-hit game in his past 18.
The Twins have scored a total of just two runs during the past two outings of Joe Ryan (5-1, 2.45 ERA), who is the scheduled Saturday starter. Ryan has allowed just four runs (three earned) over 19 innings in his past three starts. The right-hander gave up two of those runs in six innings during a 2-0 defeat at Cleveland on Sunday
Ryan is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs — both outings in 2021. Happ is 1-for-3 vs. Ryan, while teammate Trey Mancini and Cody Bellinger are a combined 3-for-5 against him
Scheduled Chicago starter Hayden Wesneski (2-1, 3.93 ERA) was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in his first four starts of the season but is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA and just one walk allowed in the past three. The right-hander yielded one run in each of those three outings, most recently over six innings while fanning six during Chicago’s 5-4, 14-inning loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Wesneski has never faced the Twins, but Minnesota’s Donovan Solano went 2-for-5 against him last season while with the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago announced on Friday that second baseman Nico Hoerner (.303, 19 RBIs) went on the injured list due to a hamstring strain sustained earlier this week. Miles Mastrobuoni recalled from Triple-A Iowa, and he went 0-for-1 off the bench on Friday.
–Field Level Media
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