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News » Blue Jays-Twins Preview 2009-04-14

Blue Jays-Twins Preview 2009-04-14

Blue Jays-Twins Preview 2009-04-14
Ricky Romero pitched well in his major-league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, he'll try to duplicate that success on the road.

On Tuesday night, the left-hander looks to help the visiting Blue Jays to an 11th straight victory over the Minnesota Twins, who are trying to avoid a fourth consecutive loss overall.

Romero (1-0, 3.00 ERA), the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft, allowed two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking two over six innings in Toronto's 6-2 win over Detroit on Thursday.

"His last four or five starts (in spring training), he just seemed to get a little bit better all the time," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.

With the nerves from his debut likely behind him, the 24-year-old makes his first road start against Minnesota (3-5), which has been outscored 22-7 during its three-game losing streak.

Toronto (6-2) could use a strong - and deep - outing from Romero to take some pressure off an overused bullpen that's yielded 12 of its 13 runs on the season over the last four contests.

The Blue Jays' offense came through Monday, rallying for an 8-6 win over the Twins in the series opener. Minnesota has dropped 10 straight to Toronto since an 8-5 victory June 28, 2007, at the Metrodome.

Travis Snider hit two home runs Monday including a go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth inning for Toronto, which trailed 6-3 after five innings. Lyle Overbay added a two-run homer and three RBIs while Aaron Hill, Alex Rios and Scott Rolen each had three of the Blue Jays' 19 hits. The Jays' 54 runs this season are the most in the majors.

"From an offensive standpoint we're swinging the bat really well right now," Snider said. "Eight games into it you don't want to get too excited, but it's a good sign for us."

Adam Lind had two hits to raise his average to .400 (14-for-35), while Rolen is batting .393 (11-for-28).

Rios is batting .347 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 29 career games against Minnesota, and 4-for-6 with a home run versus Twins scheduled starter Glen Perkins (0-1, 1.13).

Perkins allowed one run and five hits over eight innings in his season debut last Thursday, but didn't receive any help in a 2-0 loss to Seattle.

"It's early," said Perkins, who has no decisions and a 4.91 ERA in two starts against Toronto. "We'll score some runs. I don't think anyone's too worried about it."

Offense hasn't been the entire reason for the Twins' early struggles. Minnesota pitchers have allowed 21 earned runs with a 7.56 ERA over the last three games.

Minnesota had some success at the plate Monday after posting one run and 11 hits in losing its final two of a three-game weekend set against the AL Central rival Chicago White Sox.

"(Monday) wasn't about our offense. That game was about pitching. When we score six we normally have a good chance to win," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Jason Kubel went 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs, while Nick Punto drove in two and Michael Cuddyer added his first RBI in six games.

Punto is 6-for-14 with four RBIs over his last four games overall, and has hit safely in his last five against Toronto.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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