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May 24, 2024 3:00 am

Upbeat Twins hoping to stay hot vs. reeling Rangers

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The Minnesota Twins are feeling good as they welcome the Texas Rangers to open a seven-game homestand on Friday evening.

The Twins are coming off back-to-back wins against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday and Wednesday, and they enjoyed a day off Thursday after returning home. The victories secured a series win and changed the mood for a Twins team that had been mired in a seven-game losing streak.

Carlos Correa said he and his teammates felt upbeat entering the homestand.

“It’s been great — the energy, the atmosphere in the clubhouse and the dugout,” Correa said. “Everybody (is) supporting each other, everybody (is) being there for each other.”

Correa hopes to stay hot after homering twice in his past three games. He is batting .268 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 32 games this season.

Meanwhile, the Rangers hope to break out of a cold spell.

Texas has lost four games in a row and 10 of its past 12. The latest setback was a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, who swept the Rangers in three games and outscored them 21-8 in the process.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy is dealing with several challenges, not the least of which is an overtaxed bullpen. Bochy was forced to turn to his bullpen in the fourth inning Thursday, and Grant Anderson pitched in relief for the second straight day.

On Wednesday, Rangers relievers Jonathan Hernandez and Yerry Rodriguez each threw more than 40 pitches out of the bullpen.

Bochy said the Phillies deserved credit for the sweep, but he wants to see better results as the team travels north to begin its next series.

“They swing the bats,” Bochy said of the Phillies. “They’re one of the best offensive teams in baseball, and we caught a hot team.

“It seems like we’re on a bad roll of catching teams when they’re playing really well, but still, you’ve got to play better. We didn’t play our best baseball. We gave them a lot of runs in this series, and we know that.

“And we’ve got to score runs. … It’s going to be up to this offense to come around, hopefully give the pitchers a little cushion.”

Twins right-hander Bailey Ober (4-2, 4.40 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season. He has nine walks and 49 strikeouts in 47 innings.

Ober is coming off a loss against the Cleveland Guardians in his most recent outing. He gave up five runs on eight hits in four innings.

This will be Ober’s second career start against Texas. He gave up five runs on five hits in four innings in his only other start against the Rangers.

Texas will turn to right-hander Jose Urena (1-3, 3.29), who will make his fourth start. He also has made 10 appearances out of the bullpen this season.

The 32-year-old Urena has posted back-to-back quality starts but has no victories to show for it. In his last outing, he took a no-decision despite limiting the Los Angeles Angels to one run on four hits in six innings.

In five appearances (four starts) against Minnesota, Urena is 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA. He has given up 15 earned runs on 25 hits in 18 2/3 innings.

–Field Level Media

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