Scioscia’s Office: Twins @ Angels – 7/21/15 7:05pm Pacific

Twins at Angels

Minnesota Twins (50-42, 2nd AL Central) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (52-40, 1st AL West)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Partly Cloudy, 77F, Wind W 9mph, 0% Chance of Rain

Pitching Matchup:

Kyle Gibson (8-6, 2.85 ERA)

Kyle Gibson delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 2, 2015 (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Kyle Gibson delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 2, 2015 (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Twins have been one of baseball’s biggest surprises this year (if not the biggest) as they’ve made it to late July with a share of the AL Wild Card lead and are within striking distance of the AL Central leading Kansas City Royals. Kyle Gibson has been one of the main reasons for Minnesota’s resurgence this year as he’s put together quite a solid and consistent year. His win-loss record isn’t lighting up the stat sheets as he’s been the victim of some poor run support at times this year, but the 2.85 ERA this late in the season tells you all you need to know. Gibson’s last start closed out the Twins’ first half back on July 12, and in that game he held Detroit to 1 run on 4 hits over 7 innings to take the win in a game the Twins won 7-1.

~VS~

Matt Shoemaker (4-7, 4.85 ERA)

Matt Shoemaker delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on June 26, 2015 (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Matt Shoemaker delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on June 26, 2015 (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Shoemaker has unfortunately not been able to repeat the magic that won him 16 games as a rookie and had him in the AL Rookie of the Year discussion in 2014. So far the 2015 season has been an up & down struggle for Shoemaker and he now finds himself as the leading candidate to be demoted to the bullpen when Jered Weaver returns from the DL in a week or so. Shoemaker’s last start was July 8 in Colorado, a game in which he held the Rockies to 2 runs on 9 hits in 5 2/3 innings and took a no-decision as the Angels won the game late by a 3-2 final. Shoemaker did make a relief appearance in the final game of the 1st half, giving up a solo home run to Seth Smith in 1 inning of work in a game the Angels won over Seattle 10-3.

Game Notes:

  • Shoemaker’s last appearance came in relief on July 12 at Seattle, when he gave up a run in an inning of work. Shoemaker has failed to build on his strong rookie season and could be replaced in the rotation once Jered Weaver returns from the 15-day disabled list.
  • Gibson has taken a major step forward this year, and has been nearly unhittable in July, going 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts.
  • Miguel Sano, ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect by MLB.com, rolled his ankle while taking grounders during batting practice on Saturday, and is expected to be out 3-5 days. Sano has been a major force for the Twins, hitting .326/.434/.558 with two homers and nine RBIs in 13 games. With Sano out, the Twins are expected to use a combination of Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer or possibly Eduardo Nunez at DH.
  • Angels third baseman David Freese got Monday’s night game off against the Red Sox after playing the first game of the doubleheader. He should be back in the lineup Tuesday.

Starting Lineups:

Minnesota:

  1. 2B-Brian Dozier – .260
  2. RF-Torii Hunter – .256
  3. 1B-Joe Mauer – .275
  4. 3B-Trevor Plouffe – .259
  5. LF-Eddie Rosario – .277
  6. DH-Eduardo Nunez – .287
  7. CF-Aaron Hicks – .261
  8. C-Kurt Suzuki – .227
  9. SS-Eduardo Escobar – .254

Angels:

  1. 2B-Johnny Giavotella – .261
  2. RF-Kole Calhoun – .272
  3. DH-Albert Pujols – .260
  4. SS-Erick Aybar – .288
  5. 3B-David Freese – .240
  6. 1B-C.J. Cron – .260
  7. LF-Matt Joyce – .185
  8. C-Chris Iannetta – .191
  9. CF-Dan Robertson – .255

Other AL West Matchups:

  • Seattle @ Detroit – 4:08pm Pacific
  • Boston @ Houston – 5:10pm Pacific
  • Texas @ Colorado – 5:40pm Pacific
  • Toronto @ Oakland – 7:05pm Pacific

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