Aaron Slegers and Jake Cave have been called up from Triple-A by the Minnesota Twins three times apiece this season Authentic Joseph Noteboom Jersey , and the All-Star break is still more than one week away.
Their contributions to this struggling team on Thursday night were sure worthy of a longer stay.
Slegers picked up his first major league win with six smooth innings, Cave reached base all four times he batted, and the Twins stopped their six-game losing streak by hanging on for a 5-2 victory over the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
”I know that I think, and I know Slegers thinks the same thing, that we can play big league baseball,” Cave said. ”We’re ready to go anytime the team needs us, and that’s just kind of how you’ve got to think of it.”
Logan Morrison homered and Cave drove in an eighth-inning insurance run with one of his two doubles for the Twins, who turned to Fernando Rodney in the ninth for his 18th save following two consecutive blown chances. Slegers (1-0) gave up only one run, on the first of two homers by Jonathan Schoop.
”It’s fun to have that in the stat column, to be a major league winner,” Slegers said. ”I can say that for the rest of my life.”
With eight right-handers in the Orioles lineup, except for Chris Davis, Slegers put his sinker to good use against the second-lowest scoring team in MLB. The Orioles managed just three hits against the 6-foot-10 Slegers, who was the latest to fill the recently revolving fifth spot in the rotation. Manager Paul Molitor stopped short of a commitment, but he indicated Slegers earned another turn after needing only 72 pitches to complete those six innings in his first major league start this season.
”Sometimes you make tough decisions to protect those young guys when they’ve had good outings and make sure they feel good when they come out of the game,” Molitor said.
The Orioles squandered another quality start by Andrew Cashner (2-9) and lost for the 10th time in 11 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 24-62, just the team the Twins needed to face to start a season-long 11-game homestand after a pivotal 1-8 road trip.
Trailing AL Central-leading Cleveland by 11 1/2 games, Minnesota has become a probable seller before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 with several accomplished players on expiring contracts. Baltimore has essentially been in that boat since April, with slugging shortstop Manny Machado widely considered the best asset on the market this summer.
Cashner, one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East, has had more than three runs scored for him in only one of his 17 starts this year. He gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits.
”It’s not like we didn’t want to score for him,” Schoop said. ”I hope things start changing.”
Orioles starters have received the least amount of run support in the major leagues this season.
”I probably had the worst stuff I’ve had this season, but I thought I just grinded throughout the game,” Cashner said. ”When you’re not scoring runs, I feel like I keep my mind sharp on what I want to do out there and thinking pitch to pitch.”
Cashner was charged with an error in the third, when he was covering first base on a chopper hit by Bobby Wilson to Davis and fumbled the relay toss to let Cave score from second. Wilson eventually scored on a single by Eddie Rosario.
Rodney struck out Davis to start a perfect ninth, pushing the sputtering slugger into a first-place tie on the Orioles list for strikeouts with 1,305. He is tied with Cal Ripken Jr., who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared in 972 contests.
Cave Authentic Brian Allen Jersey , who was recalled from Rochester last week, made a fully extended catch at the wall in right-center to take a potential extra-base hit away from Davis in the fourth inning. Cave doubled twice, driving in one run, to go with a single and an intentional walk.
”He can really flash it out there,” Slegers said.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left hamstring) has been scheduled for his season-ending surgery on July 12. He’ll need six months to recover.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who has started 80 of 84 games and appeared in all but one this season, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He’s batting .218.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will come off the DL to start Friday night. Bundy has been sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in the second game of the series, coming off his worst turn of the season. He gave up seven runs in Chicago to the Cubs in just 1 2/3 innings.
It’s been a week full of injuries, as more and more pitchers hit the disabled list, making arms a premium once again for Fantasy owners.
He’s not a pitcher, but Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez headlines the list of injured players, as the catcher will miss 3-4 weeks for the second straight season.
There are names like John Hicks, Austin Romine, Tucker Barnhart and Tom Murphy who deserve to be owned in Sanchez’ absence. Now, let’s look at some pitchers to help hold down your rotation.
PLAYERS TO PICK UP
ZACH EFLIN, SP, Philadelphia Phillies (42 percent owned in Yahoo) – First it was Nick Pivetta, now it’s Zach Eflin. The Phillies are having pitchers who were no more than a healthy arm last season turn into legit standouts. Eflin increased his velocity this year, and he’s adding more swings and misses than a season ago. Like Pivetta, it’s smart to grab him before everyone else in your league takes notice.
ZACK WHEELER, SP, New York Mets (12 percent) – Like Jacob deGrom earlier this season, the Mets struggle to win games for Wheeler. That’s OK, though, as he is holding his own as of late with a reasonable ERA and a good strikeout rate. He won’t live up to the prospect hype that he had when he was moving through the system, but he can be a useful pitcher for your Fantasy roster.
SHANE BIEBER, SP, Cleveland Indians (57 percent) – Bieber was thought to be a guy who wouldn’t register big strikeout numbers, but would help Fantasy owners out in ERA, WHIP and Wins. Well, in a small sample Authentic John Kelly Jersey , he’s averaging more than a strikeout per inning. Add him wherever he’s available.
ADALBERTO MONDESI, OF, Kansas City Royals (1 percent) – Speed is hard to find. Kevin Kiermaier was a suggested pickup last week as a multi-category contributor, but Mondesi is a deep-league add if you’re desperate for speed.
TWO-START PITCHERS TO STREAM
BRENT SUTER, SP, Milwaukee Brewers (39 percent) – It’s not a great week for two-start pitchers, and Suter underachieved in a juicy matchup against the Royals on Wednesday. He’s worth running out again, though, as he gets the Twins and the Braves in a two-start matchup.
KYLE GIBSON, SP, Minnesota Twins (34 percent) – Speaking of failing to capitalize, Gibson struggled against the White Sox on Wednesday. Forget that start, though, as he’s been a quality start machine this year. He’ll face a less-than-favorable team in the Brewers in his first start, but he’ll wrap the week up against Baltimore, who struggled mightily against right-handed pitching.
NATHAN EOVALDI, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (7 percent) – Eovaldi impressed this week against the Nationals, allowing just one hit over six innings. He has a date with the Marlins and Mets next week; both of which are terrific matchups.
HITTERS TO STREAM
SCOTT SCHEBLER, OF, Cincinnati Reds (22 percent) – Jesse Winker is starting to come around for the Reds, but Schebler has been the 22nd-best outfielder in Yahoo leagues over the past 30 games as the leadoff hitter for the Reds.
LOGAN MORRISON, 1B, Minnesota Twins (13 percent) – The Twins have seven games next week in Milwaukee and against the Orioles‘ bad pitching staff. There’s only one lefty on the slate, which means Morrison is a sneaky streamer to get in your lineup.
ALEN HANSON, 2B/OF, San Francisco Giants (5 percent) – Hanson has been playing regularly for the Giants, and he’s a contributor across multiple categories, with his standout category being batting average. With three games in Colorado and four more against the all-of-the-sudden questionable St. Louis rotation, Hanson could fill the stat sheets for Fantasy owners.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network,