The Minnesota Twins dominated the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first two contests of their three-game set in Minneapolis and have a great opportunity to finish off the sweep Sunday afternoon. The Diamondbacks will be piecing together a bullpen day in the finale, with reliever T.J. McFarland getting the ball first against a Twins club that chased Arizona ace Zack Greinke early Saturday and has outscored the Diamondbacks 15-3 in the set.
Joe Mauer was 3-for-3 with an RBI in Saturday’s 5-0 triumph, which was the third in a row for Minnesota and left it in a virtual tie with the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card spot in the American League. The Diamondbacks hold down the same position in the National League and are up 3 1/2 games on Milwaukee. They managed two hits - both doubles - on Saturday despite getting slugger J.D. Martinez back in the lineup after he missed a game due to an illness. Minnesota hopes to have All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano back soon after he left Saturday’s victory with shin soreness.
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH T.J. McFarland (4-4, 4.14 ERA) vs. Twins RH Bartolo Colon (4-10, 6.70)
McFarland will be making his first start since 2014 and just the third of his career as Arizona looks to fill the rotation spot previously held by Anthony Banda, who was sent to the minors Wednesday. The 28-year-old McFarland was 1-0 with a 5.87 ERA through his first two starts, allowing 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings. He was knocked around for six runs and 10 hits in eight innings spread over three previous meetings with the Twins, the last of which came exactly two years ago Sunday.
After completing 16 innings through his first two starts this month, Colon got through only five in a loss to Cleveland on Sunday while giving up three runs and seven hits with four walks. He is 2-2 with a 4.21 ERA in six starts with the Twins but has a 5.50 mark in three outings at Target Field since signing with the club July 7. The Diamondbacks are the only team the 44-year-old Colon has yet to defeat, as he is 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in four career encounters.
1. Twins 2B Brian Dozier has seven multi-hit efforts in his last 11 games.
2. Arizona is expected to recall RHP Braden Shipley to add to the depth behind McFarland.
3. The Diamondbacks are 20-19 in series finales while Minnesota is 19-20.
PREDICTION: Twins 8, Diamondbacks 6