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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, August 12 (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Twins (53-64) vs. Houston Astros (49-70), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Yohan Pino (1-4, 4.59) Houston - Collin McHugh (4-9, 3.18)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Mauer knows how to make a return entrance.

The face of the Minnesota franchise arrived from a prolonged injury absence with game-winning hit on Monday and will try to keep his momentum going when the Twins visit the Houston Astros for the second game of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Mauer had hit in 12 straight games before heading to the disabled list with an oblique injury in early July, which led to a 34-game stint away from the team. He was 2-for-4 in Monday's return, and arrived to the ballpark in time to bid farewell to former teammate Josh Willingham, who was dealt to Kansas City earlier in the day.

"I was on a high coming in and seeing everybody and then to see one of our guys go out that was pretty tough," Mauer said. "But then to win the ballgame was a good way to end it."

In his last 13 games of activity, Mauer is hitting .373 with 13 runs batted in. The Twins, who are 11 games under .500 overall, are a closer-to- respectability 37-40 when he plays.

"This guy, I've always said he can get right out of bed and hit," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Astros have lost five of seven games, thanks in part to a continued anemic output with runners in scoring position. Houston is batting .182 in that situation over those seven games, and is just 1-for-12 in the last two games.

Hoping for some run support on the mound is Collin McHugh, who's winless in his last nine starts -- including six losses -- since beginning the season at 4-3. He allowed just two runs in his last 13 1/3 innings, but has gotten no- decisions in games against Toronto and Philadelphia.

McHugh was nicked for three runs in 4 1/3 innings of Houston's 14-5 win at Minnesota in June.

He'll face Twins starter Yohan Pino, who was beaten, 3-0, by Oakland on Thursday after allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He's 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA in four road starts and hasn't won since beating Seattle on July 10.

"(Oakland was) aggressive," Pino said. "I was trying to throw the first pitch for strikes and they were swinging at it. I feel I can do better."

On Monday, after Eduardo Escobar struck out to start the ninth, Jordan Schafer and Brian Dozier worked walks against Josh Fields (2-5) around a pop out. Mauer then shot a base hit through the hole on the left side to plate Schafer. Dozier scored from first after Danny Santana hesitated getting the ball into the infield to provide Minnesota its 4-2 win.

Mauer also smacked a double for the Twins, who have won two straight on the heels of a four-game losing streak.

Lefty Tommy Milone, acquired from Oakland last month for Sam Fuld, made his first start for Minnesota. He allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings.

08/12 10:48:49 ET

TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 am on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL