The Minnesota Twins head into the weekend riding high after taking consecutive series from Cleveland and Boston but could be shorthanded Friday night when they open a three-game set with the Texas Rangers at Target Field.
Eduardo Escobar left in the fourth inning of Minnesota’s 9-2 loss to the Red Sox Thursday after he took a Rick Porcello fastball to the right elbow.
The AL leader with 32 doubles this season Authentic Alex McGough Jersey , Escobar has been red-hot this month, batting .386 with an .800 slugging percentage in 70 June at-bats.
Manager Paul Molitor said Escobar would be re-evaluated Friday.
“He’s sore and swollen,” Molitor said. “I think it got the bottom of the triceps more than on the elbow. We tried to see if he was able to continue, and he gave it a go, but you could tell he was having trouble swinging in that second at-bat.”
Eddie Rosario was scratched prior to the game Thursday with soreness in his right shoulder. He leads the team with 16 homers this season and has been having a good month as well, batting .357 with a .757 slugging percentage.
Rosario said he’d be back in the lineup against Texas and Molitor admitted resting the 26-year-old was a precautionary move.
“I just think we’re trying to keep the big picture in mind,” Molitor said. “So, we’re gonna back him off. It’s just one of those things where you think what you’re doing is best for the player for the long term.”
The Twins are already without second baseman Miguel Sano, who was optioned to Class A Fort Meyers to work on hitting the slider, and center fielder Byron Buxton, whose fractured toe has shown improvement but not enough to return from a minor league rehab assignment.
Missing all that firepower will leave right-hander Fernando Romero a much smaller margin for error as he takes the mound for his 10th career start.
Romero has cooled off since going 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA through his first four big league outings, going 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA over his last five. That number is somewhat skewed by an eight-run disaster at Kansas City back on May 30, but Romero’s strikeout rate has plummeted from 9.11 per nine innings to 5.95 over his last four starts.
“Gosh, there’s still a lot to like,” Molitor said. “The way that he’s been able to get the ball on the ground pretty consistently Authentic Sebastian Janikowski Jersey , especially the way he can get in on righties.”
In his first start against Texas, Romero will face a Rangers’ lineup that is feeling good after sweeping the Royals earlier in the week and has won five in a row overall.
Rougned Odor has been a catalyst for the Rangers’ recent success. He was hitting .169 exactly one month ago but has batted .267 with a .761 OPS in the 26 games since to raise his average to .226.
“I believe he’s progressively gotten better,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s showed progress where we need him to show progress. Odor has been a significant player on this team and will continue to be a significant player.”
Left-hander Mike Minor gets the start for Texas.
He held the Rockies to two runs over seven innings in his last outing, giving him a second consecutive quality start for the first time since earning six in a row for the Braves back during the 2014 season.
Friday will mark Minor’s first career start against the Twins.
Eric Rowe was in a daze after being told he was being traded from Philadelphia to New England in September of 2016, wondering why the team that drafted in the second round a year earlier no longer wanted him.
The safety says he was blindsided by the deal to the Patriots, who sent the Eagles a fourth-round draft pick.
One message of support he received stood out. It was a text from Eagles veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins, who had taken a young Rowe under his wing.
”I remember he texted me the day I got traded just telling me that everything happens for a reason,” Rowe recalled. ”`Whatever you do, just keep working, because you’re going to be great one day.”’
Two seasons later, Jenkins and Rowe will be on opposite sidelines with a championship at stake.
Jenkins said it was a no-brainer to try to mentor Rowe when he was the Eagles.
”He played a lot as a rookie, played some significant snaps. But once he got traded I wanted to send him a text encouraging him,” Jenkins said. ”Sometimes this business will move you around and then teams will get rid of you and doubt you. But at the end of the day don’t let it change what you think about yourself. You’re gonna be a great player.”
Rowe said the words from a ”phenomenal leader” like Jenkins helped him focus following the trade.
”I knew it was just the business of the NFL,” Rowe said. ”I’m like, `OK Authentic Byron Maxwell Jersey , I need to take advantage of this opportunity, because you don’t get a lot of opportunities to play for the Patriots.”’
In the season-plus that Rowe has been gone from Philadelphia, he’s become yet another young defender who as developed into an asset in the Patriots’ system.
Including the playoffs, he has appeared in 22 games for New England, totaling 49 tackles and two interceptions.
Rowe has primarily been used as an extra defensive back in passing situations and could draw the responsibility as the last line of defense against the Eagles receivers.
With linebacker Jordan Hicks out for the season with an Achilles tendon injury, Rowe may be matched up with receiver Nelson Agholor.
Agholor was Philadelphia’s first-round pick in 2015 and led the Eagles with a career-best 62 receptions for 768 yards and eight touchdowns.
”I talk to guys. We’re still friends. We hang out in the offseason,” Rowe said. ”I texted them `Congrats’ because some of us were in the same draft class or on the same team.”
Friends or not, Rowe is ready for whatever comes next as he vies for his second straight Super Bowl ring.
”It’s only my third year, and my second going to a Super Bowl. I don’t know what the odds of that are, so obviously I don’t take it for granted,” Rowe said. ”But there’s a couple of guys in here that have been to four, and they still take it like their first one. So I never take it for granted.”
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to his report.
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