Fresh from an off day that followed a three-game sweep of the Braves, our Padres hit the road, beginning with a quick two-game set in Minnesota. Jesse Hahn gets the start in game 1 as he tries to continue an impressive rookie season.
Hahn has won each of his last three starts and is 7-2 overall in his nine starts this season. In each game during his three-start winning streak, he allowed only one run while lasting at least six innings. Last Wednesday as he celebrated his 25th birthday, he pitched one of the best games of his career, keeping the Cardinals to just four hits through seven strong innings of work. Hahn has been especially effective on the road, where he is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
That profile looks like exactly what the Friars need to put an end to an eight-game losing streak, spanning nine long years, against the Twins. That includes two home games against them in May of this season, when they were outscored 7-2. But this time around, the Padres are playing arguably the best baseball they've played all season. They went 4-1 in their last five games, winning back-to-back series, including the sweep of Atlanta. They remain at the bottom of the league in average runs per game overall this season, but since they All-Star Break they lead the NL with 78 runs in 16 games.
Meanwhile, the Twins continue to inhabit the AL Central cellar. However, they're coming off two straight victories and a series win against the White Sox. They compiled 32 runs on 49 hits in the three-game set against Chicago. Prior to that, it took them 13 games to collect 33 runs, a stretch during which they went 9-4. They'll try to keep the momentum going as they host our Padres these next two days.
Phil Hughes will get the ball for Minnesota in the opener and hopes to keep the Padres offense at bay. He'll try for a repeat of his last performance against San Diego. Back in May Hughes allowed seven hits, but no runs and no walks, while striking out seven through seven innings of work to earn the victory. But the right-hander has lost each of his last three starts while posting a 5.63 ERA, which bodes well for the Friars.
The action at Target Field gets underway at 5:10 PT.
And don't forget to check out today's SB Nation Fantasy Baseball league on FanDuel. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. There's also an MLB Squeeze (Late Night) league with a first prize of $1,200 if you miss the first one. You can join at this link.