Byron Buxton is figuring things out at the plate for the Minnesota Twins, who hope to see more from their young outfielder when they continue a three-game interleague series with the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. The 23-year-old Buxton homered, tripled and doubled in a 10-3 win to begin the set Friday night and is batting .464 with three long balls during an eight-game hitting streak.
Minnesota has won nine of 12 to move into a tie with the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card in the American League, while the Diamondbacks hold down the same spot in the NL but with a four-game cushion over St. Louis. Arizona hopes to have slugger J.D. Martinez back in the lineup after he was scratched Friday due to an illness. Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks possess an 11-4 record in interleague action and ace Zack Greinke has been one of the catalysts by going 3-0 with a 0.65 ERA in four starts against AL teams. He’ll get the nod Saturday opposite fellow right-hander Jose Berrios for the Twins.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Zack Greinke (14-5, 3.01 ERA) vs. Twins RH Jose Berrios (10-5, 4.27)
Greinke spun 6 2/3 scoreless innings while fanning nine to defeat Houston his last time out. It was the fifth straight start in which he has finished at least six innings and left him one win shy of tying Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead in the National League. Greinke saw plenty of the Twins from his days in Kansas City and has struggled at Target Field, going 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA in Minneapolis.
Berrios gave up five runs in five innings two turns ago and followed that up with a dismal outing at Detroit, although he did not factor in the decision in a wild 12-11 loss. The former first-round pick gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings and failed to strike out a single batter for the second time in his career. Berrios sports a 2.89 ERA in five career interleague starts.
1. Minnesota placed DH/OF Robbie Grossman on the 10-day disabled list with a broken left thumb and recalled C Mitch Garver from Triple-A Rochester.
2. Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt has hit safely in eight consecutive games and has 21 RBIs over a span of 19 contests.
3. Twins LF Eddie Rosario also has an eight-game hitting streak (.441) after recording three hits Friday.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 5, Twins 4