Pitching matchups for the Twins series
Nick Blackburn, RHP (7-5, 3.65) @ Sidney Ponson, RHP (5-1, 3.96)
Yankees: Ponson, who signed with New York on June 18, will be making
his fourth start in a Yankees uniform this season. During his last
outing he surrendered one earned run over six innings while recording
two strikeouts against Tampa Bay. Ponson owns a 10-2 record with a 2.42
ERA in 15 career appearances against Minnesota.
Twins: A stellar first half has Blackburn being mentioned as a Rookie of the Year candidate. The sinkerballer has started to become more consistent, delivering quality starts in five of his last six outings. He’s started to eliminate his problems with the big inning and could be a factor for the Twins in the second half. He’ll make his second start against the Yankees. In the first, he left having pitched just 4 1/3 innings after he was struck in the face by a Bobby Abreu line drive.
Kevin Slowey, RHP (6-6, 4.26) @ Darrell Rasner, RHP (5-7, 4.97)
Yankees: Rasner battled through five innings en route to his fifth
victory during his last outing against the Blue Jays. The
27-year-old allowed four runs in the first inning but
settled in and managed to get through five innings on 108 pitches. He
finished his outing with six strikeouts for his first victory since
June 18. After starting the season with three straight victories,
Rasner is now 2-7 with a 6.19 ERA over his past nine outings. He is 1-1
with a 3.97 ERA in two career starts against the Twins.
Twins: An infected fingernail on Slowey’s right middle finger pushed him back in the rotation. After a string of good starts, Slowey has found some trouble recently. He’s given up at least five earned runs in each of his last two starts. The Twins need Slowey to make quicker adjustments on the mound and keep the ball down in the zone. He’ll try when he faces the Yankees for the first time this season.
Glen Perkins, LHP (7-2, 3.84) @ Mike Mussina, RHP (12-6, 3.49)
Yankees: Mussina surpassed his win total from the entire 2007 season
when he picked up his 12th win Friday night against the A’s. He threw
six innings of one-run ball and scattered nine hits to quiet the
Oakland offense. Mussina struck out six — four looking — and did not
record a walk for the second straight game. He is now 11-3 with a 3.00
ERA in his last 16 starts.
Twins: The rookie left-hander continues to impress the Twins in a starting role. Perkins held a hot-hitting Rangers lineup scoreless for six innings, allowing three hits and walking three. He’s 3-0 in his last three starts and has not lost since May 30, going 5-0 with a 3.81 ERA over that span. That last loss came against the Yankees. Perkins gave up five earned runs on 10 hits over just four innings in that first outing at the Metrodome.